WHO stops trials of Hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs for Covid-19: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 05, 2020 Published on July 05, 2020

WHO’s interim trial results showed that the drugs produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized Covid-19 patients

The World Health Organisation declared on Saturday that it is going to stop the trials of the malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalized patients suffering from the deadly contagion as they failed to reduce the death rate, Reuters reported.

The WHO said that the setback came as the multilateral organization reported over 2,00,000 new cases across the world, the highest single-day spike. The United States alone accounted for 53,213 of the total 212,326 new cases recorded on Friday.

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized Covid-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multi-country trials that the agency is leading.

The UN agency said the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients or as prophylaxis.

The solidarity trial phased out with five branches studying the possible treatment approaches to Covid-19: standard care; remdesivir; hydroxychloroquine; lopinavir/ritonavir; and lopanivir/ritonavir combined with interferon, Reuters added in its report.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Friday that nearly 5,500 patients in 39 countries had been recruited so far into its clinical trials and that interim results were expected within two weeks.

Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, said on Friday that the time is not right to predict when will the vaccine hit the market. He added that even if the vaccine is ready by the year-end, the question is how soon it could then be mass-produced.

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Published on July 05, 2020
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