MHRA halts recruitment to primary care hydroxychloroquine trial over death reports


A clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 has been "temporarily" suspended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Several weeks ago, South Dakota enrolled its first COVID-19 patient in the study but as of May 26, no figures on how many people may be participating were available.

Algeria decided in late March to treat patients infected with the COVID-19 illness with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, an antibiotic.

The governor said COVID-19 patients in the state would, henceforth, be treated with the drugs.

President Trump has previously confirmed reports that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for COVID-19 on 18 May, though there is no evidence now that supports claims that it can prevent people from catching the coronavirus.

During the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing On May 18, 2020, Fiona Braka, officer in charge of World Health Organization in Nigeria, had announced that the solidarity trial had started in Nigeria.

Brazil erratic strategy to combat Covid-19: advocates the use of chloroquine
Worldwide there have been 4.9 million confirmed infections and over 323,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Hydroxychloroquine was developed as an antimalarial drug, but is also used to treat conditions like lupus and arthritis.

"A final decision on the harm, benefit or lack of benefit of hydroxychloroquine will be made once the evidence has been reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board", the body said in a statement.

Tedros said both drugs were generally safe for patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.

Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious disease and global health in Oxford said that since Recovery patients are actually randomized, their data has been less vulnerable to the biases that plague their studies which use routine care data. Alleging that it is mispropaganda against affordable HCQ for making expensive new drugs, Bhandari said, "Of late, cardiac complication of Covid-19 is being blamed on HCQ". Specifically, the death rates for patients taking hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were 18% & 16.4% respectively, compared to 9% for patients within the control group.

Another recent study found that renin-angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitors - taken by some patients with hypertension - do not impact the severity of Covid-19.

Bekkat, who is also head of the Order of Algerian Doctors, said the country had not registered any deaths caused by hydroxychloroquine. Since this early study, many more experts have voiced their concerns, including the Food and Drug Administration, which cautioned against using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital or clinical trial setting. Ominously, the study found an increased frequency in abnormal heartbeats in those taking hydroxychloroquine.