World Health Organization to temporarily stop study of malaria drug

Elias Hubbard
May 26, 2020

A pharmacy tech pours out pills of hydroxychloroquine May 20 at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020.

According to a Monday NBC News report, the embattled organization - which lost its US funding over its mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis - announced that the drug may cause potential dangers in patients and is choosing to "err on the side of caution" by temporarily ceasing trials.

"The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally", World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his opening remarks at a press conference.

Although numerous US' top medical professionals claimed HCQ to be an ineffective treatment for coronavirus, Trump revealed that he had consulted with the White House physicians regarding its use. "However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in COVID-19 is quite low".

"Over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and almost 3500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries".

"It really does give us some degree of confidence that we are unlikely to see major benefits from these drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 and possibly harm", Aronoff, who was not involved in the study, told the AP.

"The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally".

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO's emergencies chief, said there was no indication of any safety problems with hydroxychloroquine in the WHO trial to date, but that statisticians would now analyze the information.

Last week, Trump announced he was taking hydroxychloroquine although he has not tested positive for Covid-19. President Donald Trump announced May 18 he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for nearly two weeks as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

"This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19", Tedros said, adding that the drugs are accepted treatments for people with malaria or auto-immune diseases.

President Trump has advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic despite limited research into whether it is effective against the virus.

Swaminathan says they expect to decide whether to resume testing hydroxychloroquine in the Solidarity Trial in a week or two.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER