WHO discontinues hydroxychloroquine treatment for COVID-19

The World Health Organisation, WHO has again halted the trial of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms despite a new study finding it made coronavirus patients 50 per cent less likely to die.

The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.

In a press statement, WHO announced that it has ‘accepted the recommendation’ from The International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial for hydroxychloroquine, as well as HIV/AIDS medications lopinavir and ritonavir, because it failed to reduce COVID-19 mortality.

The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation.

“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.

“For each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality. There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity trial. These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.

The statement by WHO stated that: “This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity trial in hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.

“The interim Solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication.”

Great Peters

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