Anchor lead: A large trial in the UK finding that a steroid can help people with severe COVID-19 also points the way to getting results quickly, Elizabeth Tracey reports

RECOVERY is the acronym for a large, randomized trial underway in the UK designed to quickly evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19. Recent results include the use of dexamethasone in patients with the disease who were on ventilators. Brian Garibaldi, a critical care medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, applauds the approach.

Garibaldi: This is exactly the way you want to go about things if you want to get data quickly. You want it to be a large population and broadly representative of the patients who might be ill presuming with so many centers that they probably had a pretty good slice of what the population looks like. And you really want to try to do these on a larger scale because we’ve seen a lot of these small single arm trials that show promise for repurposing drugs that are already available. We’ve seen very clearly how small studies can be misleading and once you actually get larger data you realize okay, for whatever reason that one study showed a benefit but overall this is not the way we want to go.  :33

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.