Lancet study confirms HIV drugs not effective for Covid-19 hospitalised patients

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 06, 2020

A peer-review study published in The Lancet medical journal revealed that much-touted HIV drug for treating coronavirus positive patients has no beneficial effect on them.

The study corroborated the initial results of a large-scale randomised trial of the drug performed in Britain.

British scientists, who were running the RECOVERY trial at the Oxford University in June, had said interim results had evidently ruled out any significant benefit of lopinavir-ritonavir in reducing the mortality rate of Covid-19.

The Oxford-based RECOVERY trial has been established to explore the effectiveness of potential treatments of the novel coronavirus. The trial has enrolled around 13,000 patients in all.

For the HIV drugs study, researchers enrolled 1,616 patients who received the drugs, and 3,424 who received only usual care.

The researchers noted in their study that 23 per cent of those given the drugs died within 28 days of treatment beginning, compared to 22 per cent of those given normal care.

The treatment did not reduce the length of hospitalisation or the chances of being put on a ventilator.

Professor Martin Landray from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, who co-leads the RECOVERY trial as cited in Reuters: “Results from this trial show that it is not an effective treatment for patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) in July also stopped the trial of lopinavir-ritonavir after the drug failed to reduce the fatality rate, as per media reports.

Published on October 06, 2020

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