The World Health Organization said it had decided Wednesday to halt trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients, finding it did not reduce the mortality rate.
Doctor Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, from the WHO’s health emergencies programme, told a virtual press conference in Geneva that the antimalarial drug was being withdrawn from its multi-country Solidarity Trial of potential treatments.
“The internal evidence from the Solidarity/Discovery Trial, the external evidence from the Recovery Trial and the combined evidence from these large randomised trials, brought together, suggest that hydroxychloroquine — when compared with the standard of care in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients — does not result in the reduction of the mortality of those patients,” she said.
“Based on this analysis and on the review of the published evidence, the Executive Group of the Solidarity/Recovery Trial has met on two occasions and today we met with all the principal investigators.
“After deliberation, they have concluded that the hydroxychloroquine arm will be stopped from the Solidarity Trial.”
The announcement came two days after the United States withdrew emergency use authorisations for both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, two antimalarial drugs favoured by President Donald Trump to treat the new coronavirus.
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