WHO Pauses Solidarity Trial on HCQ As Studies Show Little Benefit

This follows a large observational study published in The Lancet that found HCQ to have no benefit for COVID-19.

Updated
Coronavirus
2 min read
WHO pauses solidarity trial for hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment.
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In an important move that may just spell an end to multiple studies and trails around Hydroxychloroquine, the World Health Organisation has said it is putting its solidarity trial on HCQ and chloroquine on temporary 'pause' to review its benefits and harms.

"The executive group of the Solidarity Trial representing ten of the participating countries met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally. The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trials and, in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

He said that the safety data will be reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. "The other arms of the trail are continuing."

This follows the latest global study, published in The Lancet on 22 May on HCQ. The observational study - the largest so far - covered 671 hospitals around the world, and found that the use of HCQ or chloroquine had no benefit on the outcomes in patients when given early after the diagnosis of COVID-19. In fact, a higher risk of death and the development of irregular heart rhythms was observed in seriously ill patients.

Out of over 96,000 patients observed in the hospitals, around 15,000 were treated with HCQ, chloroquine, or a combination of either of these with an antibiotic.

“Each of the drug regimens of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with a macrolide was associated with an increased hazard for clinically significant occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias and increased risk of in-hospital death with COVID-19,” wrote the study authors.

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