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WHO halt coronavirus trials of hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and ritonavir

Published on 06/07/20 at 10:17am

The World Health Organization has discontinued trials into the viability of hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and ritonavir as COVID-19 treatments.

This was done as part of the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee’s recommendation, who were overseeing the trial, in light of evidence from investigations into hydroxychloroqine vs standard of care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard of care. Both trials showed little to no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

The WHO said in a statement: “WHO today accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms.”

While both trial results did not increase mortality, they were some safety hazards found with both treatments. The end of these trials only applies to the Solidarity investigation, and does not affect the possible evaluation of the treatments in other non-hospitalised patients for COVID-19.

This follows the National Institute of Health stopping its own trials into hydroxychloroquine last month in non-hospitalised patients, stating it was be unlikely to be beneficial to coronavirus patients. The FDA also revoked its emergency approval of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine due to health risks and a lack of effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

Conor Kavanagh

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