UK health service rolls out arthritis drug Baricitinib to treat Covid



The UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) said that from Thursday it is rolling out the use of arthritis drug Baricitinib after it has proven to save lives when given to the most seriously ill COVID patients in hospital.


A trial carried out through the NHS and University of Oxford found that 13 per cent fewer severely ill patients died of COVID-19 when treated with Baricitinib compared to existing treatment options. Typically used to treat arthritis to reduce pain and inflammation, the NHS said Baricitinib can now be given to hospitalised COVID patients in addition to current treatments.





The more effective COVID treatments within the NHS arsenal, the more options doctors have to help patients who become seriously ill with COVID, preventing hospital admissions and saving lives, said NHS Medical Director Professor Steve Powis.


This is the fourth drug that has been fast-tracked for use on the NHS thanks to the world-leading RECOVERY [Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy] trial and is just as important because it gives our hard-working clinicians another life-saving treatment option and strengthens our defence against COVID-19, he said.


Arthritis drugs work by reducing inflammation caused by COVID-19 by blocking signals to the immune system that are causing it to attack the body. Patients given Baricitinib will receive a daily dose for 10 days, or until they are discharged from hospital, whichever comes first.


According to the NHS, the drug bolsters the options at doctors disposal when looking to treat hospitalised patients in the most effective way and can be used to supplement other COVID treatments in patients aged two and over. It will be the seventh COVID treatment approved in total for use on the NHS.


The move is described as the latest in an armoury of COVID treatments that the NHS has at its disposal, which now includes three repurposed arthritis drugs with Baricitinib joining Tocilizumab and Sarilumab that have treated an estimated 32,000 of the most severely ill COVID patients in England’s hospital.


The NHS says it has led the rollout of COVID medicines, from the discovery of Dexamethasone as the world’s first effective treatment to the first vaccination outside of a clinical trial in December 2020.


As well as these arthritis drugs, the NHS says it will continue to use other monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatments.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor


https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/uk-health-service-rolls-out-arthritis-drug-baricitinib-to-treat-covid-122050501228_1.html