The Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR) in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, on behalf of the REMAP-CAP Investigator Network, announce clinical trial results examining the use of vitamin C and simvastatin to treat severely ill patients with COVID-19.
Published in JAMA and NEJM, and presented at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine in Milan, the studies are part of the ongoing Randomized Embedded Multifactorial Adaptive Platform for Community Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) trial.
Simvastatin, a widely available and inexpensive drug that is included on the WHO list of essential medicines, was shown to have a high probability (96%) of improving outcomes (a combination of survival and length of time patients need support in an intensive care unit) when started as a treatment for critically ill patients with COVID-19, and a 92% chance of improving survival at 3 months. This equates to one life saved for every 33 patients treated with simvastatin. 2684 critically ill patients were included at 141 hospitals across 13 countries.
Vitamin C is widely available around the world and was used in some settings for the treatment of COVID-19. Through harmonizing two clinical trials – REMAP-CAP and LOVIT-COVID – over 2500 patients in 20 countries took part, including both critically ill and non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 in hospital. It was shown that high dose vitamin C did not improve outcomes for patients. This is one of the largest trials examining high-dose vitamin C in COVID-19 and provides evidence that high-dose vitamin C is not beneficial and suggests a high probability that it may be harmful.