#National News

World first coronavirus treatment approved for NHS use by UK gov’t

Jun 19, 2020, 12:54 PM

Press release

Thousands of lives will be saved in the UK with the Government immediately authorising the NHS to use the world’s first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death.

 

Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, has been immediately approved to treat all UK hospitalised COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen, including those on ventilators, from today.

The drug has been proven to reduce the risk of death significantly in COVID-19 patients on ventilation by as much as 35% and patients on oxygen by 20%, reducing the total 28-day mortality rate by 17%.

Funded by the UK Government, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Oxford University UK RECOVERY trial is the first clinical trial anywhere in the world to show a treatment provides significant impact in reducing patient mortality.

The government has taken action to secure supplies of dexamethasone in the UK, buying additional stocks ahead of time in the event of a positive trial outcome. This means there is already enough treatment for over 200,000 people from stockpiles alone.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that today we can announce the world’s first successful clinical trial for a treatment for COVID-19. This astounding breakthrough is testament to the incredible work being done by our scientists behind the scenes.

“From today the standard treatment for COVID-19 will include dexamethasone, helping save thousands of lives while we deal with this terrible virus.

“Guided by the science, the UK is leading the way in the global fight against coronavirus – with the best clinical trials, the best vaccine development and the best immunology research in the world.

“I want to thank the brilliant scientists at Oxford University, the thousands of patients who took part in the study, and my own team, led by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who has done such a brilliant job driving this work."

The drug has also been added to the government’s parallel export list, which bans companies from buying medicines meant for UK patients and selling them on for a higher price in another country. This will protect supply for UK patients by enforcing regulatory action on those who flout the restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, the government has supported British research with millions of pounds of funding for clinical trials into the most promising and innovative medicines in our fight against this new virus, including £2.1 million for the RECOVERY trial.

This clinical trial is testament to the success we see when government, scientists and the NHS – including 175 NHS Trusts across the whole of the UK -  work together. With over 177,000 patients enrolled, it’s the largest randomised clinical trial anywhere in the world and will continue to trial other medicines, such as azithromycin and lopinavir-ritonavir.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam:

“The RECOVERY trial is an outstanding example of the UK leading the world with an impressive study capable of delivering robust answers to critical questions. Although these data have not yet been peer-reviewed.

“The positive findings on dexamethasone follow the disappointing findings on hydroxychloroquine. Together these two results illustrate the power of properly conducted clinical trials and the inherent danger of assuming things work without robust data.

“Whilst tempting to do otherwise, it is always better to wait for the evidence. On the dexamethasone findings, this is very encouraging because the signal on reduced mortality applies to many of the patients admitted to hospitals and the drug is comparatively low priced and available worldwide.”

The UK is a world leader in global science and medicine industries. This British trial will now affect the global response to this pandemic.

This breakthrough has only been made possible through the rigour of world-class and world-leading British life-sciences. The Government backed British science from the very beginning of this pandemic and today has proven that this was the right call.

The vital information collected by UK researchers will also be used by other countries to reduce mortality rates worldwide.

Read Other Articles In National News
AGERA
AGERA provides food aid to Gambia Red Cross Society
Apr 16, 2020, 2:35 PM

Atlanta Gambian Emergency Relief Association (AGERA), Tuesday donated 250 bags of rice, 30 boxes of sugar cubes and 250 packets of water to The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) for onward distribution to the most vulnerable.

President Buhari
President Buhari urges caution on ECOWAS common currency
Jun 25, 2020, 11:24 AM

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday cautioned that the ambition for Eco regional currency could be in ‘serious jeopardy,’ unless member states complied with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal.

Fass
Fass Against Covid-19 supports community with sanitary materials
Apr 15, 2020, 3:43 PM

Fass Against Covid-19, a social movement of people in Fass Njaga Choi village on Monday donated 46 buckets with taps, 8 cartons of bleach,  4 cartons of Dettol, a box of detergent and 20 liters of disinfectant to their community.

AGA
AGA Global extends Ramadan benevolence to 5 families
Apr 27, 2020, 12:16 PM

As Muslims commenced fasting in this year’s Holy month of Ramadan, AGA Global Ambassadors UK/Gambia, over the weekend supported five Gambian families with one hundred and fifty pounds sterling.

Euclid University
EUCLID UNIVERSITY DONATES 30 BAGS OF RICE TO COMMUNITY OF BRUSUBI TURNTABLE
May 13, 2020, 1:03 PM

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic which has led to declaration of public emergencies and the lockdown of economies to which The Gambia is no exception, EUCLID University (EUCLID) has decided to in a small way supplement and compliment national response efforts to the current socio-economic crisis which has resulted in loss of productivity.

Papa Njie and GNCP
PPP leader donates food items to GNCP
Apr 23, 2020, 1:30 PM

As the impact of coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the country, leader and secretary general of Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP), Papa Njie, has donated food items to the Gambia National Paralympic Committee (GNPC).

Support vulnerable families in Sami District
Apr 21, 2020, 12:23 PM

Statistics have shown that, Sami District in CRR has the highest number of underprivileged and vulnerable families. The daily struggles of inhabitants of this area is as a result of poverty and lack of access to certain basic necessities.

Sukutarians
Sukutarians support community with medical, food items
May 7, 2020, 11:52 AM

Natives of Sukuta at both home and abroad, last Thursday supported the community’s health centre with medical items. They also donated over three hundred thousand dalasis to the community to purchase food items for the needy and most vulnerable members of the community.