After `temporary pause`, World Health Organization to resume hydroxychloroquine trials

After `temporary pause`, World Health Organization to resume hydroxychloroquine trials

The Lancet, the British medical journal that published the paper, has attached an "expression of concern" to the study, which may be a precursor to its retraction.

Results were no different among a subgroup of participants who were taking zinc or vitamin C, which some people believe might help make hydroxychloroquine more effective.

"I think both sides - one side who is saying "this is a risky drug" and the other side that says "this works" - neither is correct", said Boulware.

Other studies of hydroxychloroquine are ongoing.

"This is not the end of the story with hydroxychloroquine", said Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. "Benefit may be there", ICMR had said.

But other critics, like Francois Balloux of University College London, raised concerns over the way the study was conducted even though they are sceptical the drugs themselves would work as a treatment for COVID-19.

Earlier, the World Health Organization had said that in light of a paper published last week in the Lancet that showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems, there would be "a temporary pause" on the hydroxychloroquine arm of its global clinical trial. While the initial infections had to be confirmed with a diagnostic test, the researchers also counted patients who had symptoms consistent with disease, in part because testing wasn't available.

Of the 821 participants, 107 developed COVID-19 over the 14 days of follow-up. However, the study did not see a significant increase in disturbances of heart rhythms, or an imbalance of deaths.

The scientists and physicians also criticized the study's authors for failing to release the raw patient data used for the study and information about which hospitals and countries provided the data.

The study had an unusual design. A very much larger trial is underway in healthcare workers, aiming to recruit 40,000 around the world, led by the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok.

Surgisphere head Sapan Desai, a co-author on the research, said the firm "stands behind the integrity of our studies and our scientific researchers, clinical partners, and data analysts". Two patients were hospitalized, one in each group.

"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. "That's exactly where we find ourselves, in a state of confusion". His team had been scheduled to go to a major meeting on HIV, but the meeting was canceled. "No deaths occurred", the U of M said. "And this study stopped or paused a couple of those trials, and changed the narrative around a drug that no one knows if it works or not", he said.

The clinical trial was led by the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, in collaboration with researechers from the University of Manitoba, the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota.

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