World Health Organization resumes hydroxycholorquine trial after 'threat' queried

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"The question of efficacy when using these drugs remains unanswered, with the balance of evidence possibly indicating relatively little effect".

US President Donald Trump also had strongly advocated the use of HCQ and called it a "game-changer".

Doctors had hoped that hydroxychloroquine, a cheap and widely available drug for malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, might work against the coronavirus based on test tube studies.

The company, formed by Dr. Sapan Desai, a vascular surgeon in Springfield, Illinois, also influenced the decision by the World Health Organization and other research facilities to halt trials of hydroxychloroquine, which President Trump has touted and took as a precaution against coronavirus.

Federal regulators have warned against their use except in hospitals and formal studies because of the risk of side effects, especially heart rhythm problems.

Adults who were part of this study were those who came in contact with someone who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes at a distance of six feet (about two meters) or less. Schaffner, who was not involved in the trial, praised it as "rigorously done".

Based on the study, the scientists had concluded that the drugs are "associated with decrease in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19".

"There's basically no effect".

"I think both sides - one side who is saying "this is a unsafe drug" and the other side that says "this works" -neither is correct", said Boulware.

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A total of 821 asymptomatic participants were enrolled in the study. The participants were health care workers and people who had been exposed at home to ill spouses, partners or parents. And not all took their medicines as directed.

Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the results "should provide a very big nail in the coffin" for the idea that hydroxychloroquine can help prevent COVID-19.

The Guardian reached out to other hospitals who also contradicted the study's data.

"This fits with everything else we've seen so far which suggests that it's not beneficial", said Dr. Peter Bach, director of a health policy center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY.

The WHO's decision to suspend its trial prompted others to follow suit, including Sanofi, which said on May 29 it was suspending recruitment for its trials.

The government of France, which last week ruled against the use of hydroxychloroquine in Covid patients, has written to the Lancet to request a review of the raw data. The study is finished and results are being analyzed now.

Mumbai: In the last one week the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) trial studies for treatment of Covid-19 has seen a series of retraction and resumptions with medical journals and the World Health Organisation (WHO) caught in the crossfire of this debate.

Study limitations noted by the authors are the lack of availability of diagnostic testing for COVID-19 in the USA, which the healthcare workers were unable to access, meaning a prior symptomatic case definition was used, or a US clinical case definition of probable COVID-19.

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