WHO committee recommends continued study of hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment


The World Health Organization’s Data Safety and Monitoring Committee has recommended for WHO to continue studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in its Solidarity Trial, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.

Last week, WHO announced that it had temporarily paused the hydroxychloroquine arms of the trial due to concerns surrounding the drug’s safety.

“This decision was taken as a precaution while the safety data were reviewed. The Data Safety and Monitoring Committee of the Solidarity Trial has been reviewing the data,” Tedros said on Wednesday.

“On the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol,” Tedros said, adding that the recommendation about resuming hydroxychloroquine studies will be shared with the trial’s principal investigators.

Currently, there is no approved treatment for Covid-19.

“As of now, there’s no evidence that any drug actually reduces mortality in patients who have Covid-19,” WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said during Wednesday’s briefing.

“In fact, it’s an urgent priority for all of us to do the needed studies, to do the randomized clinical trials, in order to get that evidence,” Swaminathan said. “You can do analyses but there are so many potential biases in the way that patients are managed in a regular clinical setting that the only way to get definitive answers is to do a randomized trial.”


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