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The RECOVERY Trial: go big or go home
In order to distinguish moderate treatment effects of a treatment from no effect, randomization of large numbers of patients is required. The RECOVERY trial was set-up rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK to ensure that large numbers of patients from hospitals across the UK could be recruited without interfering with the clinical care of the patients while the hospitals were under significant stress. By keeping the trial procedures simple and only asking hospitals to do what was absolutely required, the RECOVERY trial randomized 10,000 patients in 8 weeks and provided robust information on three potential treatments within 3 months. The methods used in RECOVERY could and should be applied to many other diseases beyond COVID-19 and address many of the important uncertainties in patient care and population health.