Drug trial for over 50s now recruiting participants

A UK drugs trial which could help prevent people aged over 50 from developing more serious coronavirus symptoms is now recruiting participants from across the country including West Yorkshire.

Led by an Oxford University team, the PRINCIPLE trial is designed to test pre-existing drugs for older patients in the community who show signs of the disease. It aims to slow or halt the progression of COVID-19 and prevent the need for hospital admission.

PRINCIPLE is the first trial of COVID-19 treatments to take place, and one of the UK Government’s four national priority platform trials on the disease.

More than 500 GP practices across the country are already recruiting people aged 50 and over with underlying health conditions, or people aged over 65 regardless of underlying health conditions, into the trial.  GP surgeries already signed up to the trial include Bankfield Surgery in Elland and Station Road Surgery, Sowerby Bridge.

Criteria for joining the trial:

  • People aged 50 to 64 who have a pre-existing health condition and are experiencing symptoms which are likely to be caused by COVID-19 – for the full list of conditions follow this link
  • People aged over 65 and over who have symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms are likely to be a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature and have been experienced for less than 15 days.

If you are not registered with either surgery, but would like to take part in the trial, you can be screened online. This means that regardless of which GP surgery you are registered with, older people with coronavirus symptoms can now pre-screen for the trial at home via an online questionnaire to see whether they can be included.

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 health record notes 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, or to sign up via a link to the online screening questionnaire, visit the PRINCIPLE trial website.