The World Health Organization said it will temporarily halt global trials of hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug President Trump said he was recently taking to prevent the coronavirus infection – and chloroquine after a study showed that hospitalized coronavirus patients taking the drugs have a higher mortality rate, Fox News reports.
WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine trials for coronavirus treatment pending safety review
STEPANAKERT, MAY 26, ARTSAKHPRESS: The “temporary pause” will allow the agency's experts to review all available evidence to date concerning safety of the drugs when treating patients with COVID-19, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in remarks on Sunday.
"The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board," Tedros said.
Tedros said the decision was made after a paper published Friday in The Lancet found that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine given to patients hospitalized with the coronavirus had a higher risk of death and heart problems than those who were not given the drugs.
In the study, researchers also concluded that they were unable to “confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19.”
Tedros emphasized that both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are accepted as “generally safe” treatments for people with malaria or auto-immune diseases.
Other treatments in the study, including the experimental drug remdesivir and an HIV combination therapy, are still being pursued, Tedros said.