: The World Health Organization finally decided Wednesday to halt all trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, finding it did not reduce the mortality rate.
The malaria and rheumatoid arthritis drug, hydroxychloroquine has been at the center of political and scientific controversy.
It has been touted as a possible treatment for the new coronavirus by many scammers.
Hydroxychloroquine has been included in several randomized clinical trials considered the gold standard for clinical investigation but the WHO said the evidence had led the UN health agency to call time on its own trials.
Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, from the WHO's health emergencies programme, told a virtual press conference in Geneva that it was being withdrawn from its multi-country Solidarity Trial of a range of potential treatments.
She said, "The internal evidence from the Solidarity/Discovery Trial, the external evidence from the Recovery Trial and the combined evidence from these large randomized trials, brought together, suggest that hydroxychloroquine when compared with the standard of care in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients does not result in the reduction of the mortality of those patients,"
She added, "Based on this analysis and on the review of the published evidence, the Executive Group of the Solidarity/Recovery Trial has met on two occasions and today we met with all the principal investigators. After deliberation, they have concluded that the hydroxychloroquine arm will be stopped from the Solidarity Trial."
Only this month, the Recovery Trial a major trial run by the University of Oxford found hydroxychloroquine had "no benefit" for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The UK trial, the biggest so far to come forward with findings, said it would stop recruiting patients to be given hydroxychloroquine "with immediate effect".
Dr Martin Landray, an Oxford professor of medicine and epidemiology who co-leads the study said, "Our conclusion is that this treatment does not reduce the risk of dying from COVID among hospital patients." The randomized clinical trial has recruited a total of 11,000 patients from 175 hospitals in the UK to test a range of potential treatments.
The World Health Organization announcement came after the United States on Monday withdrew emergency use authorizations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
The World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial is testing a series of drugs in a bid to pinpoint which are the most effective against the new coronavirus, in coordinated, randomized trials spanning several countries.
The trial aims to discover rapidly whether any of the drugs being tested slow disease progression or improve survival. Other drugs could be added in, based on emerging evidence.
Todate, more than 3,500 patients have been recruited in 35 countries, with more than 400 hospitals actively recruiting patients.
Earlier on May 25, the WHO announced it had temporarily suspended trials of hydroxychloroquine to conduct a safety r
The order to pause came after a study published in The Lancet medical journal suggesting the drug could increase the risk of death among COVID-19 patients.
However that study was found to be fraudulent and was later retracted.
Stupidly enough the WHO
then concluded there was "no reason" to change the way its trials were being conducted and resumed hydroxychloroquine testing.
It is fortunate that that the saga on hydroxychloroquine is finally put to rest as it never worked against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and researchers who had manipulated studies and said it did, should have their names made public and blacklisted while legal cases should be made against governments, health authorities, hospitals and doctors who advocated its use despite being potentially lethal.