According to Business Insider, a cheap steroid, which is available from R149 an injection in South Africa, has been hailed as a breakthrough treatment to reduce fatalities among severely ill Covid-19 patients.
It reduced fatalities by a fifth among those who received oxygen support.
The finding came from the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments on Covid-19 patients.
More than 11,500 patients in 175 UK hospitals are part of the trial, and more than 2,100 of them received 6mg of dexamethasone once per day.
“It’s a startling result,” Kenneth Baillie, an intensive-care physician at the University of Edinburgh, who serves on the steering committee of the trial, told Nature magazine. “It will clearly have a massive global impact.”
South Africa’s pharmaceutical giant Aspen produces dexamethasone injections in South Africa, and its CEO Stephen Saad confirmed to Business Insider SA that there should be sufficient supplies to meet local demand.
“It all depends on where and when we get the surges. We should be fine for South Africa, (as) we make this in South Africa.”
While daily doses of dexamethasone could prevent one in eight ventilated patient deaths and save one out of every 25 patients requiring oxygen, the steroid had no effect on outcomes among those with mild cases of Covid-19 (people not receiving oxygen or ventilation), the study found.
Source: Business Insider SA
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