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Case study: 'I'm part of a national priority COVID-19 research study' - Andy's story

Andy Sharpe, from the East Midlands, has been taking part in a national priority study into the use of antiviral treatments for COVID-19.

Supported by Willows Medical Centre, Leicester, Andy is one of thousands of people across the UK who is involved in the PANORAMIC study, which aims to find out whether new antiviral treatments in the community can reduce the need for hospital admissions and enable people to get better sooner.

“I’ve been considering taking part in research studies for sometime now,” Andy says, “and this one seemed particularly topical.” After testing positive for COVID-19, Andy was encouraged to participate in the study.

The PANORAMIC study, funded and supported by the National Institute for Health Research and led by the University of Oxford, enables people to participate in their own home with no face-to-face visits required.

“I registered via the website,” Andy says. “After this, I received a phone call to discuss and confirm my responses to the screening questions.” Participants are then randomly selected to be either in the treatment group receiving a course of molnupiravir, or to a standard care group.

“During this call, I was also informed that the randomly chosen option for me was not to receive the trial drug,” Andy explains. Although I wasn’t chosen to receive the medication, I understand the importance of having people enrolled in the study who don’t get the medicine, simply for comparative purposes. My contribution to the study is equally valid, important, and indeed essential.”

With a national focus on the study in order to quickly identify effective treatments, Andy urges other people across the region to follow his lead and put themselves forward for participation in the PANORAMIC study.

“Please go ahead and take part,” he says. “The more people that take part the better the outcome, and even if you don’t get the medicine you are still helping others.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic many people have taken part in research for the first time, with the vast majority of participants having an overwhelming positive experience of research.

Andy says that he “absolutely” would take part in research again. “One thing that I’ve appreciated is how supportive the people with whom I’ve spoken have been,” he says. 

“The information I provide via the feedback diaries - which take just 5 minutes of my time a day - does two things. It helps the study (and will benefit others in the future), and it gives me visibility of my own recovery process, sometimes it’s easy to overlook that.”

The PANORAMIC study is open to people:

  • Who are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms beginning in the last 5 days
  • Who have had a positive PCR or Lateral Flow test for COVID-19
  • Who are aged 50 or over, or aged 18 or over with a listed preexisting condition

To find out more about the PANORAMIC study and take part, please visit: