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New Covid-19 treatment dexamethasone banned from parallel export

By Isabel Shaw

18 Jun 2020

Dexamethasone has been banned from parallel export, to ensure a consistent supply for UK patients who need it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is hoped that this will help to minimise disruption to the supply chain and protect against supply shortages.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that both formulations of dexamethasone – oral solution and solution for injection (all strengths) – have been added to the list of drugs that must not be exported from the UK.

This news comes as dexamethasone was confirmed to reduce death by up to one-third in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of the virus.

The low-cost and widely available steroid is typically used to treat inflammation, allergies and other breathing conditions such as asthma and COPD, among others.

It has now been approved for NHS use for Covid-19.

The full list of all medications that cannot be parallel exported, including the new additions, can be viewed here.

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