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Drugs used by some Type 2 diabetics may lessen their risk for severe COVID-19 complications

Article about the use of GLP-1R agonists against COVID-19. Brand names for this type of diabetes medication include Trulicity, Victoza, Ozempic, Byetta, and Rybelsus. Apparently the anti-inflammatory properties of these drugs helps ward off the worst of severe symptoms of this coronavirus.

As research into which treatments work and which don't, this is interesting news (on a few levels). But I wonder about the six-month dosage before contracting COVID:
  • Is it just a happy accident that people already taking these medications have this bonus level of protection?
  • Should people be taking a GLP-1R agonist in the first place if diet, exercise, and simpler drugs (primarily Metformin and insulin) could help them manage their diabetes?
  • Does the vaccine spare people the worst complications? How many diabetics, as a high-risk group, have not been vaccinated (at least in more developed countries)?
  • There's the cost. The rack rate for these medications is around US$1,000 a month. Even if insurance covers most of the cost and the prescription benefit provider gets a price break, that's still a lot of money that has to come from somewhere.
  • How can researchers determine either the active ingredient or mechanism that makes these drugs work and either reduce or eliminate side effects? Is it worth it to find out?
I don't intend for this post to be a referendum on COVID-19 treatments. I'm just always interested in research that sheds light on new treatments for illnesses to find out what makes them work. But, like all public health decisions, it's not a situation that exists in a vacuum. Thoughts?
 

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My only comment is to follow the money. A cheap drug that treats river blindness in African countries with the same results has been taboo.
 
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