In light of the repeated findings from the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) arm of the Solidarity trial showing no significant reduction in COVID-19 mortality rates, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to halt the testing of the HCQ drug in COVID patients. While, the agency has also cautioned about the treatment with corticosteroid dexamethasone, which was found reducing the deaths of patients on ventilator and oxygen support in the Oxford University’s REOVERY trial.
The decision to halt HCQ trial, which was announced on Wednesday, was also based on subsequent evidence from a UK-led RECOVERY trial that found the antimalarial-drug not helping COVID-19 patients recover, and also from review of other evidence on the drug, the WHO said.
The agency announced that the Solidarity Trial investigators would not add any more patients to the hydroxychloroquine arm, however, those who have not yet finished their course in the trial could complete their course or stop at the discretion of the supervising physician.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday had also revoked its emergency use authorization for HCQ to treat COVID-19. Despite the FDA discontinuing the treatment with HCQ, the drug is found still used in India, though currently limited to treatments in patients with moderate COVID-19.