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NOSM University researchers involved in COVID-19 medication study

The study will look at treatments for non-hospitalized COVID patients.

THUNDER BAY — Two NOSM University staff members will participate in research into how well medications for COVID-19 work for non-hospitalized patients.

Associate professor Dr. Barb Zelek and Dr. Brianne Wood – NOSM University/Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute associate scientist – are on a team led by Dr. Andrew Pinto, director of the Upstream Lab at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Pinto and colleagues will compare oral medications for COVID such as Paxlovid in non-hospitalized patients and examine whether treatments prevent "long COVID."

A NOSM announcement Tuesday stated that the study will also offer timely evidence to clinical researchers, health system managers and public health officials in Canada and abroad regarding medication impacts on hospitalization and health care utilization rates.

"It's important that we identify safe, effective, affordable and evidence-based medications that will keep our communities healthy," Dr. Zelek said.

She noted that at least 6.2 million people have died of COVID-19 globally, and it is expected that new variants will continue to emerge, similar to what happens each year with the flu.

"With the opportunity for clinics across our region to participate in this impressive study, Northern Ontario's health professionals and patients can be confident that the therapies and services are inclusive of Northern health care realities," Zelek said.

The $10 million project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada will provide the research team with the relevant medications for the study.

Groups in five other provinces will also participate in the project.


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