Hydroxychloroquine is a malarial medicine, approved for medical use in the United States since 1955. It has become a matter of headline controversies, though, in connection with the ongoing pandemic. That controversy has taken another turn in recent days: the World Health Organization has suspended it sown clinical trials, finding that the drug has failed to reduce the rate of mortality in affected patients.
The WHO tests, known as the “Solidarity” tests, also included another treatment that has been under discussion, the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, a combo that has proven valuable against AIDS.
Another branch of the trial is studying the value of an antiviral drug from Gilead, remdesivir. This month’s WHO announcement, though, does not concern remdesivir.
Asked about a possible vaccine, the top emergencies expert for the WHO, Mike Ryan, said it is impossible to tell how soon a vaccine might be found effective and approved, much less how soon thereafter it might be scaled up in production.
In Pill Form:
The WHO statement reads, “These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritinavir 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.”