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expert reaction to study looking at effects of gout drug colchicine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19

A study published in RMD Open looks at the effects of adding colchicine, a drug usually used to treat gout, to standard treatment for moderate to severe COVID-19 infection in a small clinical trial.


Prof Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, and Joint Chief Investigator for the RECOVERY trial, said:

“There is a lot of interest in the possibility that colchicine, an anti-inflammatory treatment commonly used for gout, might improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19.  This is a very small randomised trial that is consequently unable to answer this question.  Much larger randomised trials are ongoing and should provide the answers we need.  For example, the RECOVERY trial has already randomised over 8000 patients hospitalised to COVID-19 to colchicine vs. usual care.”



‘Beneficial effects of colchicine for moderate to severe COVID-19: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial’ by Maria Isabel Lopes et al. was published in RMD Open at 23:30 UK time on Thursday 4 February 2021.

DOI: 10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001455



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



Declared interests

Prof Martin Landray: “Co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial of potential treatments for COVID-19 (funded by UKRI and NIHR; contributions to supply of study treatment from Abbvie, Roche, and Regeneron).

Research funding to University of Oxford received from Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Infrastructure and core funding received from Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Biobank Ltd, MRC Population Health Research Unit, and British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence.

Employee of University of Oxford with salary supported by Li Ka Shing Foundation, Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, and National Health Service.

I do not accept personal honoraria payments directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food industries although reimbursement to the University of Oxford for the costs of travel and accommodation to participate in scientific meetings may be accepted. I hold no shares in and receive no consultancy payments directly or indirectly from tobacco, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food companies. I comply with the Independence of Research Policy of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. For details see:”

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