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22.06.2020 | Insight

UK HCPs praise NHS trial enrolment that led to dexamethasone approval for COVID-19

By Laura Marsh

UK HCPs praise NHS trial enrolment that led to dexamethasone approval for COVID-19

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.

The level of online activity within the UK HCP respiratory disease conversation continued fairly steadily throughout the month. However, one significant spike in the COVID-19 related conversation was seen on 16th June, when results from the RECOVERY trial investigating dexamethasone as a treatment for coronavirus were announced.


Many UK HCPs shared the news of these RECOVERY trial results, which showed that dexamethasone, a generic anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, can reduce the death rate of hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19 by up to one third.

Some HCPs reacted very positively to this news, and were assured by the “robust” trial design, praising the NHS for the wide trial enrollment across UK hospitals.

Many, however, still have questions. One intensive care consultant, @ben_millette, sought the opinions of his HCP peers by creating a Twitter poll, to which most responded that they would now be more likely to prescribe dexamethasone following the results.

Some HCPs also noted the unusual method of communication of the trial results, which were released via the press, without any peer review or journal pre-print. Others, including paediatrician @tweediatrics criticised the wording of official communications from the British government and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, remarking that dexamethasone was already being used across the NHS, just not yet for COVID.

Each month, we track the HCP conversation relating to respiratory disease and this month we have seen UK HCPs using Twitter as a platform to share important updates in the treatment landscape of COVID-19.

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



  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK discussing respiratory disease and related terms between May 21 and June 20 2020, using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between May 21 and June 20 2020, there were 4,745 UK HCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 2,337 unique UK HCP authors.

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Meet the Author

Laura Marsh

Laura leads projects within the Insights team, analysing online conversations to understand the unmet needs of healthcare professionals. She also heads up the graduate scheme, from recruitment right through to implementation.

In her spare time, Laura loves playing and watching netball as well as doing increasingly large jigsaw puzzles!

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