Public urged to volunteer for new Covid-19 drug trial

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Monday 31st January 2022

Public urged to volunteer for new Covid-19 drug trial

Members of the public have been encouraged to sign up for a new Covid-19 drug trial.
The study, named the Panoramic Trial, will play a crucial role in determining how Covid-19 drugs will be used and is open to over 50s and under 50s with underlying health issues. The trial will involve individuals who have tested positive for Covid and developed symptoms within the previous 5 days. Volunteers who participate in the trial will be provided with pills, which are taken at home.

Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, explained that the study will help to identify the best ways to use anti-viral drugs for treating Covid-19. 

The health secretary, Sajid Javid, encouraged anyone who is eligible for Panoramic trial to volunteer, stating that it could “help us to learn more about medicines which could save thousands of lives.” Anti-viral drugs will play an integral part in protecting the most vulnerable members of society as “we learn to live with Covid,” he added. 

The trial will focus on two drugs: molnupiravir, which is made by Merck, Sharp and Dohme and paxlovid, which is made by Pfizer and taken with another medicine called ritonavir. Both drugs have been approved by the UK medicines regulator and showed positive results during drug trials. 
The study will provide useful data linked to the efficacy of the drugs in treating vaccinated patients and help the NHS to plan how to use them most effectively. 

Since the window for volunteers opened in December, 4,500 people have joined the list. The NHS has now issued a fresh call for eligible people to come forward to reach a total of 6,000 volunteers. Representatives from charities, including the British Liver Trust, Kidney Care UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, have also urged those who are vulnerable to get involved. People with diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, chronic neurological conditions, morbid obesity, Down’s syndrome and severe mental health disorders are also eligible for the trial.