Centre to analyse WHO’s decision to pause HCQ trials for Covid-19 treatment: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 03, 2020 Published on June 03, 2020 Bill Oxford

The Centre will study the suspension of drug trials for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) under the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity initiative aimed at finding an effective treatment for Covid-19, ThePrint reported.

WHO had suspended HCQ trials under its mega Solidarity Trials on May 25, following a research study by British medical journal Lancet. The Lancet study of over 96,000 persons had observed that HCQ may potentially be more harmful than helpful for people who consume the drug, including the risk of dying. WHO had decided to pause and review evidence to ensure the safety of the controversial anti-malarial drug, previously hailed by US President Donald Trump, before moving forward with further trials.

However, ICMR was unfazed by the pause, and had said it will continue to use HCQ as a preventive treatment in healthcare workers, according to per previous reports.

According to the Print report published on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with an expert committee under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), will discuss the health organisation’s decision to pause the trials.

The committee will look into “the drug dosage administered to patients under the WHO trial and the relevance of the findings published in the study,” the report said.

The objective is to study the validity of the Lancet study, the report said. Meanwhile, Lancet on Tuesday said it had concerns regarding the report, which has now raised serious scientific questions, Reuters reported.

Nearly 150 doctors had signed an open letter to the journal questioning the article’s conclusions and asking it to make public the peer review comments that followed publication.

The Lancet’s editors said they have commissioned an independent audit of the data published that has raised these serious scientific questions, the report said.

Published on June 03, 2020
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