Copyright 2020 Robert Clark
I want to suggest one approach to finding effective medications to fight COVID-19 is by reviewing large numbers of patient medical histories looking for medications either missing in those histories or those appearing in high numbers in patients with positive outcomes:
Big Data to fight COVID-19 and Other Diseases.
This searches for effective medications in the reverse sense, by finding medications absent from patients medical histories suggesting they may be protective against the disease.
Big Data to fight COVID-19 and Other Diseases, Page 2.
This searches for effective medications in the direct sense by finding medications that patients with positive outcomes have in common.
Studies with thousands of cases to review make this possible. Ideally, you would want to review the medical histories of all the patients with the disease in the country, which can count in hundreds of thousands to millions. In this way you could look at variations in dosages for example, or different combinations of those medications, or variations in the differing risk factors or differing levels of severity of the disease to see which medications are effective in those smaller subcategories in statistically significant numbers.
But even studies reviewing a few thousands of cases can be useful. For example in the second article above I discussed a Chineses study looking at 6,000 cases that was able to determine a common heartburn medication resulted in a statistically significant increase in survival in severe cases of the disease.