And the Winners Are ..! Three repurposed drugs have shown efficacy in large early COVID-19 treatment trials

by Stephen Ditmore

Large, fully funded outpatient clinical trials of repurposed drugs for COVID-19 were (with an exception we’ll discuss) painfully slow in coming. Without home treatment advice, patients were and are left to monitor their O2 saturation and await hospitalization without officially sanctioned treatment options. Clinicians for whom this state-of-affairs was and is unacceptable have been left to develop their own protocols without benefit of relevant clinical trials except for those developed on the fly, many of which were observational and open-label.

There have been improvements. Governments, universities, foundations, and independent funders have responded by developing adaptive platforms and multi-drug randomized clinical trials that are underway. Two of them, the PRINCIPLE Trial in the UK and McMaster University’s TOGETHER Trial, coordinated from Canada but conducted mostly in Brazil, have reported that two treatments, inhaled Budesonide and Fluvoxamine, benefited the SARS-CoV-2 infected patients who received them. A third, the COLCORONA study of colchicine, finally reached full publication in The Lancet on May 27, 2021. Though the study outcome did not liv...

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