In the week in which the UK government claimed a potential vaccine could be deployed to 30 million UK citizens by September, Mrs Barrett, who is currently volunteering as a medical research ethicist for the Health Research Authority, which provides ethical approval for all coronavirus studies in the UK, has suggested existing drugs could well provide a temporary answer.
She told the University of Brighton podcast: “You cannot wait for drugs to be custom-made because that’ll take too long. The more I learn about drugs, the more I realise there is no magic bullet. There is a sceptical approach that we use towards a therapeutic target.
“My argument is that we have drugs from the prior decade where we have a full characterisation of their intended effects, but also their unintended effects. We understand the mechanisms. They're not licensed for this treatment, but maybe we could redeploy them to solve some of the problems now (with coronavirus).”