Minister Salvador Illa announced in the third Health and Consumption Commission of Congress since the COVD-19 crisis began, that the Ministry of Health, through the National Plan on AIDS, has promoted the first clinical trial aimed at preventing the coronavirus disease in healthcare professionals. EPICOS (Clinical Trial for the Prevention of Coronavirus Infection in Healthcare) is the name of this study that will start in the next few days in a total of 62 hospitals in 13 autonomous communities and that will have the participation of 4,000 healthcare professionals.
“This is the largest clinical trial of this nature in Europe and one of the largest in the world in which, in addition to medical and nursing staff, caretakers, radiology and laboratory technical pharmacists, that is, a broad representation of all the professions that are acting against the virus in the hospital setting“, has highlighted the minister.
The objective of EPICOS, which is expected to have the first results in four weeks, is to assess the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 disease in high-risk healthcare personnel. To do this, one or two drugs will be administered preventively and randomly to be compared with a placebo group, in line with the guidelines of the WHO and the scientific community.
Thus, the preventive efficacy of three strategic treatments will be compared: hydroxychloroquine, antiretrovirals that are used to treat HIV infection (emtricitabine / tenofovir disoproxil) and the combination of both. Preventive treatment will last 12 weeks, although monthly analyzes will be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of each option.
With this clinical trial, the Ministry of Health, through the National AIDS Plan and with the collaboration of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), seeks to protect health professionals who are on the front line of the response to the pandemic, and to patients, to whom health personnel with asymptomatic disease may inadvertently transmit the disease.