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Press release: Royal College of Physicians welcomes introduction of new COVID-19 treatments

RCP has responded to DHSC's announcement that two new drugs have been introduced to treat COVID-19 patients. 

Results from the Government-funded REMAP-CAP clinical trial published today showed tocilizumab and sarilumab reduced the relative risk of death by 24%, when administered to patients within 24 hours of entering intensive care with COVID-19.

Responding to this news, Professor Cheng-Hock Toh, academic vice president of the Royal College of Physicians said: 

“This is excellent news for patients and for the clinicians treating them. Not only can these drugs save lives, they can help get people home from hospital sooner, increasing our capacity to treat others.

“This and other rapid developments show how crucial the NHS is to global research. Hospitals and clinicians across the UK have played a key role, providing around half of the research sites and three quarters of the patients.

“As we reset the NHS following the pandemic, we need to make sure more doctors are able to participate in research. As the secretary of state, Matt Hancock, said at our conference yesterday, we need to create the space for doctors to be engaged in the development of medicine, as well as its delivery.

“Hospital boards must commit to it and funding needs to be targeted at the areas where more people suffer ill health. Most importantly, we need to increase the number of doctors by doubling medical school places. That will reduce the pressure on us and free up more time for involvement in research, as well as education and quality improvement.”