Anti-inflammatories help COVID-19 patients

Pharmacist Eli Lilly said Monday that adding an anti-inflammatory to a drug already widely used in COVID-19 patients shortens recovery time by one more day.

Eli Lilly announced the results of a 1,000-person study sponsored by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on Monday. The results have not yet been published or reviewed by independent scientists, but the government confirmed that Lilly’s statement was accurate.

The study tested baricitinib, a pill that Indianapolis-based Lilly already sells as Olumiant to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the less common form of arthritis that occurs when a faulty or overreacting immune system attacks the joints. and causes inflammation. An overactive immune system can also lead to serious problems in coronavirus patients.

All study participants received remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug that has already been shown to reduce recovery time by four days on average in hospitalized patients. Those who also received baricitinib recovered a day earlier than those who received remdesivir alone, Lilly said.

Lilly plans to discuss with regulators the possible emergency use of baricitinib for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

If approved, Lilly will propose that the drug be sold through normal commercial means. At current prices, the government would pay $ 105 per patient per day, and for people with private insurance, hospitals would pay about $ 150 per day, Lilly said.


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