Sun | Aug 9, 2020

WHO ending hydroxycholorquine trial for COVID

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2020 | 4:47 PM
In this April 6, 2020 file photo, a pharmacist holds a bottle of the drug hydroxychloroquine in Oakland, California. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

BERLIN — The World Health Organization says it is ending a trial into whether anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helps patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

WHO said Saturday it has “accepted the recommendation” from the committee overseeing the trial to discontinue testing of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir, a drug combination used to treat HIV/AIDS.

The drugs were being compared with standard care for hospitalised patients.

WHO says a review of the interim results showed hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir “produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care.”

The agency adds that while there was no “solid evidence” of increased mortality for hospitalised patients given the drugs, there were “some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings” of an associated trial.

WHO says the decision won’t affect possible trials on patients who aren’t hospitalised, or on those receiving the drugs before potential exposure to the coronavirus or shortly afterward.

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