Medscape: Arthritis drugs 'impressive' for severe COVID-19 but not 'magic cure'

UC expert offers insight on study of drug treatments possibly improving COVID-19 outcomes

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the UC College of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases was one of the sources cited in a Medscape article on research showing that monoclonal antibodies used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could improve severe COVID-19 outcomes, including risk for death. The preprint findings of the Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia trial comes with a caveat from the authors saying the research has not yet been peer reviewed and "should not be used to guide clinical practice." 

A doctor in a white lab coat gestures while talking in a laboratory

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the UC Division of Infectious Diseases/Photo/Joe Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

Fichtenbaum described the study as interesting but added additional detail on how many participants in each group received steroids is warranted. "The analysis did not carefully adjust for the use of steroids that might have influenced outcomes," he said.

He also stressed the need for proper peer review of the research. 

"We need to wait for the final results and ensure it was adequately powered with enough observations to make us confident in the results," Fichtenbaum said.

Read the full story here.

Lead image Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Next Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is classified as a Research 1 institution by the Carnegie Commission and is ranked in the National Science Foundation's Top-35 public research universities. UC's medical, graduate and undergraduate students and faculty investigate problems and innovate solutions with real-world impact. Next Lives Here.