Covid drug used to treat Donald Trump could save thousands of NHS patients from next week

17 September 2021, 21:20 | Updated: 17 September 2021, 21:23

Ronapreve was given to Mr Trump when he was treated for Covid
Ronapreve was given to Mr Trump when he was treated for Covid. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A drug which was used to treat Donald Trump when he was infected with coronavirus could benefit thousands of vulnerable UK patients.

Ronapreve last month became the first treatment designed specifically for Covid-19 to earn regulatory approval in Britain.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) claimed on Friday that thousands of patients could benefit from it.

At first, people aged 50 and over who have shown no antibody response against Covid will be focused on, as will anyone aged 12 to 49 who is immunocompromised – and the rollout will begin next week.

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Health secretary Sajid Javid said: "We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK and I am thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week.

"The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out life-saving medicines, particularly for Covid-19, and we will continue our vital work to find the best treatments available to save lives and protect the NHS."

Data assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) found Ronapreve can prevent infection, treat symptoms of Covid and reduce the chance of a patient needing to go to hospital.

It is administered by injection or infusion and acts as a lining on the respiratory system, binding tightly to the virus and stopping it getting access to cells.

While Ronapreve was given to Mr Trump when he was ill, it is different to hydroxychloroquine, which the then-president promoted despite a lack of evidence over its effectiveness.