21.04.2021 | Tracker

UK HCPs celebrate positive trial for asthma drug used in COVID-19 patients

By Mark Sullivan

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Each month, CREATION.co’s respiratory tracking update brings you the latest insights into the online UK healthcare professional (HCP) conversation regarding respiratory disease. You can find the most up to date insights, and the archive, on our Respiratory Tracker landing page.

This month between March and April, there was a sharp increase in the volume of UK HCP respiratory disease conversation focused on COVID-19, seen on 12th April. The activity of UK HCPs discussing respiratory disease more broadly online was the lowest it has been so far this year, only matching the previous average daily level of conversation a handful of times.

The key driver behind the spike seen on 12th April was the release of results from the PRINCIPLE trial, a nationwide clinical study from the University of Oxford to find COVID-19 treatments for recovery at home. Budesonide, a commonly used inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment for asthma, was found to shorten recovery times in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

Since these results were announced, there have been 230 social media posts from 155 UK HCP authors relating to the topic within the respiratory disease conversation. HCPs welcomed the exciting news, and celebrated the efficacy of the drug in shortening the recovery time of COVID-19 patients by an average of 3 days.

After the success of the PRINCIPLE trial, HCPs shared the news that budesonide can now be prescribed by primary care physicians in England to COVID-19 patients on a case by case basis.  They already anticipate an influx of demand for the new treatment.

HCPs also praised the ease of use and low cost of budesonide, compared to other existing COVID-19 drugs. This affordability also led to nephrologist Liz Lightstone (@kidneydoc101) recommending the use of budesonide to another physician in India, when discussing how to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases in the nation.

Each month, we track the HCP conversation relating to respiratory disease and this month we have seen UK HCPs using Twitter to share positive trial results for new COVID-19 treatments.

You can keep up to date with this and other pharmaceutical tracking updates, including COVID-19 developments within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or sign up to receive our monthly eJournal with all of our latest HCP insights.

If you would like to dig deeper into what we have seen this month then please do get in touch.


  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK discussing respiratory disease and related terms between 21 March and 20 April 2021 using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between 21 March and 20 April 2021, there were 3,006 UK HCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 1,479 unique UK HCP authors.

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Meet the Author

Mark Sullivan

Mark uses his passion for data analysis to find actionable insights to inform pharma teams' strategic decisions.

Mark is an avid sports fan whether watching or playing. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and watching films.

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