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Insufficient data, and misleading recommendations led to significant early heterogeneity in global COVID-19 patient management, according to recent BMJ study.

A variety of medicines in tablet and liquid form

While there was extensive use of drug repurposing throughout the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was substantial heterogeneity over the types of drugs used for treatment purposes globally. Some drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, saw sharp declines in use, while adjunctive therapies grew into a more relied upon method for patient management.

In a number of cases, scientific discovery overturned misconceptions proclaimed via press conferences and social media.

The OHDSI network study: Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study, published May 11 by The BMJ, provides a global view of drug utilisation in routine practice of more than 303,000 hospitalised patients from China, South Korea, Spain and the United States. The study highlights the need for future research on the safety and efficacy of the more commonly used treatments.

Read the full story on the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences website

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