Again, WHO Discontinues Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Trial for COVID-19

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Hydroxychloroquine

Martins Ifijeh

For the second time, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has discontinued Hydroxychloroquine clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19, saying it has no positive effect on patient recovery.

Announcing this Saturday, the UN body said the decision to discontinue the research was due to recommendation from its International Steering Committee on Solidarity Trial, adding that it has also discontinued trial for lopinavir and ritonavir.

It said: “The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the July 1 and 2 WHO Summit on COVID-19 Research and Innovation.

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.”

It said for each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality, adding that there were however some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on discovery trial, a participant in the solidarity trial. These, it said will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.

”This decision applies only to the conduct of the solidarity trial in hospitalised patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalised patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19. The interim solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication,” it said.