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POPLAR to help lead pan-Canadian study of outpatient interventions for mild to moderate COVID-19

While public health measures and vaccines have reduced the impact of COVID-19, most scientists predict that new variants will continue to emerge, and that the virus will become endemic. The Canadian Adaptive Platform Trial of Treatments for COVID in Community Settings (CanTreatCOVID) spans 6 provinces across Canada and aims to identify effective and affordable out-patient medications for COVID-19 so that they can be made readily available in community settings, including for those at a higher risk for hospitalization and death.

Currently, the evidence supporting existing medications is weak and provincial guidelines are complex, making decision making by health care providers, provincial decision makers, public health leaders, and patients extremely difficult. Adaptive platform trials (APTs) are designed to concurrently compare multiple interventions and allow the inclusion, exclusion, and removal of treatment arms over time based on a decision algorithm. This makes APTs uniquely suited to studying medications for this novel and dynamic virus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, APTs have been crucial in identifying what does and does not work in the treatment COVID-19 among in-patients, and CanTreatCOVID hopes to replicate this success at the community level. The trial is open to Canadian residents aged 50 years and older, or between the ages of 18 and 49 with 1 or more chronic high-risk medical condition or immunosuppression. Eligible patients must also be within the first 5 days of experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 and test positive for the condition. In Ontario, building on work done in the past 10+ years, POPLAR will be supporting CanTreatCOVID’s multi-faceted recruitment strategy through prospective recruitment of patients using EMR data from its primary care research and learning networks.

Recruitment of patients is set to launch in late 2022. To find out how you and your patients can participate, follow the project through their webpage and newsletter, or on Twitter using #CanTreatCOVID.

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