WHO suspends clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine

Geneva, May 26:
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adnom Ghebius has temporarily suspended the clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on COVID-19 patients, while the safety data of the anti-malarial drug was being reviewed.
On May 22, The Lancet Medical Journal published an observational study on HCQ and chloroquine and its effect on COVID-19 patients, who were hospitalized, according to the WHO chief, says a Xinhua news report.
The authors of the study reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. “The Working Group of Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday (May 23),” Tedros said in a virtual press conference on Monday and provided a comprehensive analysis of all the evidence available globally and Agreed to review critical evaluation.”
The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug, he said.
“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the HCQ arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Tedros added.
WHO initiated the Solidarity Trial, a plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19 more than two months ago, which include HCQ.
According to the WHO, over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3,500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries under the Solidarity Trial.
“WHO will provide further updates as we know more,” he added.