Local volunteers needed for Covid-19 drugs trial

LOCALS experiencing Covid-19 symptoms are needed to take part in a clinical trial of potential treatments that can be taken at home.

The Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against Covid-19 in older people (PRINCIPLE) trial is testing pre-existing drugs with older patients in the community who show signs of the disease.

It aims to slow or halt the progression of Covid-19 and prevent the need for hospital admission.

The trial has been running in Greater Manchester since April. However, with the infection rate in the region showing a significant spike in late July and into August, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in Greater Manchester is now especially keen to get more people recruited on to the trial as part of the effort to identify medicines that help people with Covid-19 symptoms get better quickly.

PRINCIPLE is the first trial of Covid-19 treatments to take place in primary care, and one of the UK government’s national priority platform trials on the disease.

Fifty GP practices across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire are recruiting people on to the trial. Participants must be aged 50 and over with underlying health conditions, or people aged over 65 regardless of underlying health conditions.

In addition to this, the trial is also offering participants the opportunity to sign-up online. This means that irrespective of which GP surgery they are registered with, older people with coronavirus symptoms can now pre-screen for the trial at home via an online questionnaire to see whether they can be included.

PRINCIPLE is trialling low-risk treatments recommended by an expert panel advising the chief medical officer for England. The effectiveness of these treatments will be compared to the current best available care. In the current phase of the trial, researchers are evaluating the commonly used antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline.

Patient participation in the PRINCIPLE study – Patients who experience a continuous cough and/or a high temperature and have had it for less than 15 days are encouraged to consider taking part in the study. Go to https://www.principletrial.org/participants/how-to-join-the-trial or call the study team on 0800 138 0880. Full eligibility details are available at the above link.

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