Search

WHO restarts HCQ trial to find COVID-19 treatment

WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on June 3 announced that on the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee have recommended that there are no definite reasons to modify the trial protocol.

Jun 4, 2020 19:32 IST
facebook IconTwitter IconWhatsapp Icon

The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to restart Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) part of its Solidarity Trial. This trial by WHO is a global effort to find the treatment for COVID-19.

WHO had earlier suspended the HCQ segment of its trial based on the study published by The Lancet that questioned the effectiveness of HCQ on hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The study had mentioned that it had failed to find any benefit of HCQ or CQ (an anti-malarial drug) in the treatment.

WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on June 3 announced that on the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee have recommended that there are no definite reasons to modify the trial protocol.

WHO’s Director-General also made the announcement through his official twitter handle informing that there will be no modification in the Solidarity Trial which aims at finding COVID-19 treatment.

WHO on resuming the HCQ trial:

As per WHO’s Director-General, the members of the committee have recommended that there must not be any modifications in the Solidarity Trail. He further added that the Executive Group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the Hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial.

The Chief Scientist at WHO, Soumya Swaminathan also mentioned the data safety monitoring board has reviewed the mortality data in Solidarity and that they did not have any concerns related to the morality between HCQ and Standard of Care. Hence, the WHO has decided to resume the trial.

India on the suspension of HCQ arm from the trial:

After WHO had suspended the HCQ segment, India had maintained its faith in the continued prophylactic use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19 and stated that there has been enough experience and data from case-control and observational studies to warrant its use.

India had also questioned the integrity of the study and remained consistent in its directions for the use of HCQ for COVID-19 treatment and the combination of drug and antibiotic azithromycin for treating the virus.

Doubts on The Lancet Study:

The study over which The Lancet issued an ‘expression of concern’ had used data from the hospitals that were obtained by Chicago based company Surgisphere, which is founded by Dr. Sapan Desai who was also one the co-author of the study.

The study mentioned that it had failed to find any benefit of HCQ or CQ and that these were associated with ‘decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias’ when used for treating COVID-19.

Questions were raised about the integrity of the data and its privacy and security aspects. For example, there were questions about the database that showed more cases in Australia than were officially there at the time the study was done. Surgisphere had responded by reassigning the hospital to Asia.

Lancet’s response on its criticism:

The company mentioned that it had earlier stated that the results of our analyses should not be over-interpreted to those who have yet to develop or those who have not been hospitalized because of the disease.

The Lancet in a statement also mentioned that scientific questions were raised about the data in the paper that was authored by Desai, cardiologist Mandeep Mehra and Zurich cardiologist Frank Ruschitzka. The company informed that an independent audit has been commissioned.  

The Lancet was not the only journal that had second thoughts about the quality of data that was supplied by the Surgisphere. Similar concerns were also published by The New England Journal of Medicine about a study that it had published on the effect of some cardiovascular drugs on Coronavirus. Desai and Mehra were part of that study as well.

Take Weekly Tests on app for exam prep and compete with others. Download Current Affairs and GK app

एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए ऐप पर वीकली टेस्ट लें और दूसरों के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धा करें। डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप

AndroidIOS