WHO discontinues trials of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

World Health Organization discontinues trials of the hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality, Reuters reported.

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.

The UN agency said the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients or as a prophylaxis.

US President Donald Trump aggressively pushed the drug beginning in the first weeks of the outbreak and revealed in mid-May that he was on a regimen of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.

A May 22 study in the Lancet raised safety concerns about malaria drugs for coronavirus patients but several authors of that study retracted it earlier this month.

Following the publication of the Lancet report, the World Health Organization announced that it would be temporarily halting the use of hydroxychloroquine part of its global Solidarity trial amid a safety review.

Last month, US regulators revoked emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treating COVID-19, saying the drugs are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus.