The GPs surgeries on the Yorkshire Coast taking part in Covid-19 drug trial

Nearly 100 GP practices across Yorkshire, including three on the coast, are participating in a drugs trial testing whether treatment in the community can help people at higher risk of complications from coronavirus get better quicker, reducing the need for them to go to hospital.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 9:55 am
Updated Friday, 15th May 2020, 10:54 am

The Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against COVID-19 in older peoPLE (PRINCIPLE) trial is testing pre-existing drugs for older patients in the community who show signs of the disease.

There are three surgeries in Scarborough and Whitby which are recruiting people aged over 65, or over 50 with a pre-existing illness, into the study, run by Oxford University.

Members of the public not registered to one of these surgeries can also pre-screen for the trial at home via an online questionnaire to see whether they can be included.

Several GPs on the Yorkshire Coast are taking part in the trial. Picture: JPI Media

PRINCIPLE is trialling a number of low-risk treatments, the effectiveness of which will be compared to the current best available care.

In the first phase, the trial is evaluating whether a seven-day course of hydroxychloroquine, a well-known drug used for acute malaria and certain types of arthritis, can reduce the severity of symptoms in vulnerable groups and help avoid hospital admission.

Professor Chris Butler, from Oxford University, who is leading the trial, said: “The PRINCIPLE trial platform is enabling us to rapidly evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19 in older people who are most at risk of serious complications from the illness.

“With enough people recruited, this trial will give us the vital information we need to understand whether existing drugs can help people recover sooner and at home, without needing to be admitted to hospital – a significant milestone in the course of this pandemic.

“As soon as we find that any one of the drugs in our trial is making a critical difference to people’s health, we want it to be part of clinical practice as soon as it can be introduced.”

Chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty said: “The Government is working with researchers to find proven, effective treatments for COVID-19. This PRINCIPLE trial is a vital part of this research effort and it’s being scaled up by GP surgeries across the country.

“I would urge anyone who is contacted to take part in this trial to do so and contribute to helping our world class scientists find a treatment that will save lives.”

Participants will be closely monitored for the first 28 days of the trial, with a review taking place for up to three months to understand the longer-term effects of the illness on their health.

For details of participating GP surgeries, and a link to the online screening questionnaire, visit the PRINCIPLE trial website.

Yorkshire Coast GPs surgeries taking part:

- Brook Square Surgery, 41-44 Trafalgar St W, Scarborough YO12 7AS

- Sleights and Sandsend Medical Practice, Churchfield Surgery, Iburndale Ln, Sleights, Whitby YO22 5DP

- Whitby Group Practice, Rievaulx Road, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1SD

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