WHO Suspends Studying Of Hydroxychloroquine As Possible COVID-19 Treatment

(FreedomJournal.org)- On Monday, the World Health Organization said it would be temporarily suspending clinical trials it has been conducting to see whether hydroxychloroquine is a good treatment for COVID-19.
The organization said it is doing so because it is concerned the drug does more harm than good. This comes following a report in the medical journal The Lancet, which found patients who were taking hydroxychloroquine were dying at rates higher than coronavirus patients who weren’t taking the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that President Donald Trump had been touting as a successful treatment for coronavirus. In fact, he just recently completed a two-week treatment of it, after two people in the White House tested positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, Trump said:
“I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive. I figured maybe it’s a good thing to take a program.
“I’ve heard tremendous reports about it. Frankly, I’ve heard tremendous reports. Many people think it saved their lives. Doctors come out with reports. You had a study in France, you had a study in Italy that were incredible studies.”
The WHO, however, found that hydroxychloroquine seemed to result in more damaging effects than beneficial ones when they were testing the drug. The organization had been running a Solidarity Trial, enrolling 3,500 patients from 17 different countries in the test.
The overall goal of the program is to find treatments for COVID-19, none of which currently exist. The patients who are participating in the trial have been randomly treated with either hydroxychloroquine or three other experimental drugs, in various combinations.
The WHO announced it was suspending only the portion of the testing related to hydroxychloroquine, and it is doing so after the report in The Lancet was released. The trial cited by the journal wasn’t a randomized control, but was still large in numbers.
As Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the WHO, said:
“While it was still a reporting of observational data, it came from multiple registries and quite a large number of patients, 96,000 patients. The steering committee met over the weekend, in the light of this uncertainty. We decided we should be proactive, err on the side of caution and suspend enrollment temporarily into the hydroxychloroquine arm [of the Solidarity Trial].”
In the meantime, the review panel plans to check in on as many as seven other global studies of hydroxychloroquine. The most well-known of these is the Recovery Trial being conducted in the United Kingdom, where they are using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.
The WHO plans to investigate whether that trial, and others, are experiencing similar problems to those reported in The Lancet.
A decision on whether the organization will once again green-light hydroxychloroquine as part of the Solidarity Trial will likely be made in about a week or two, according to Swaminathan. For now, any further advances with the malaria drug as a treatment for COVID-19 will be in a wait-and-see holding pattern.