NIH to study drugs to treat COVID-19 at home


The National Institutes of Health is funding a large phase 3 clinical trial to test up to seven prescription and over-the-counter drugs that people may be able to self-administer to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 at home. 

The NIH said April 19 it will invest $155 million in the trial.

"While we're doing a good job with treating hospitalized patients with severe disease, we don't currently have an approved medication that can be self-administered to ease symptoms of people suffering from mild disease at home and reduce the chance of their needing hospitalization," NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, said in a news release

The NIH said it hasn't finalized the list of drugs that will be included in the trial, but it will include "up to seven" that are already approved by the FDA for other conditions. Because the drugs will have already been approved for other uses, they won't have to undergo longer clinical trials. 

All of the drugs will be able to be given either orally or by an inhaler and will be easy for people to take by themselves at home, the NIH said. 

The NIH is enrolling up to 13,500 people in the trial who are at least 30 years old, have tested positive for COVID-19 and have experienced mild to moderate symptoms. It will focus on enrolling people from minority, rural and other communities that are significantly affected by COVID-19 by lack access to major academic medical centers where large clinical trials typically take place. 

Read the NIH's full news release here

More articles on pharmacy:
Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests now at CVS, Walgreens
J&J reports $100M in COVID-19 vaccine sales
FDA limits emergency use of Eli Lilly COVID-19 antibody drug


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