Britain will immediately start giving dexamethasone to coronavirus patients, after a trial showed the steroid saved the lives of one third of the gravest cases, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Tuesday.
Hancock said Britain began stockpiling the widely available drug when its potential first became apparent three months ago.
“Because we spotted the early signs of the potential of dexamethasone, we’ve been stockpiling it since March,” he said in a video statement.
“So we now have 200,000 courses that are ready to go and we’re working with the NHS (National Health Service) so that the NHS standard treatment for COVID-19 will include dexamethasone form this afternoon,” Hancock said.
The research published on Tuesday was led by a team from the University of Oxford and partially funded by the British government.
Hancock expressed thanks to the “brilliant scientists” at Oxford.
“UK life sciences are leading the world in vaccine development, in the development of treatments and in immunology,” he said.