Updated: May 25
Since some people end up getting COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, we need effective treatments. The development efforts for both the vaccines and drugs started simultaneously providing us with few good therapeutic options. There are hundreds of COVID-19 drug trials underway and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) ACTIV program has included more than 30 studies looking at possible treatments chosen from a list of 800 candidates. Some trials are also looking at a range of repurposed treatments, including the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, an inhaled steroid called budesonide and the antidepressant fluoxetine, with the hope to pump out novel treatments and fresh uses for familiar therapies.
Early into the pandemic, the focus of many treatments was to treat people who were seriously ill to save lives and ease pressures on hospitals. This led to the development of many therapies, mostly parenteral and expensive. Since COVID-19 took the global precedence, scientists realized the need for effective, easy to use and widely accessible therapies, and many of the ongoing trails are focused on this. Whether it is new innovative trial or a trial for reuse and repurpose, the main goal remains in developing an easy to use, cheap and widely accessible therapy.