WHO restarts HCQ trial after Lancet concern over paper that trashed it

WHO restarts HCQ trial after Lancet concern over paper that trashed it

THE WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to resume the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) part of its Solidarity Trial, a global effort to find a treatment for Covid-19, after The Lancet issued an “expression of concern” over a study it had published that had questioned the effectiveness of HCQ.

The WHO had suspended the HCQ segment of its trial based on this study published on May 22.

This study, ostensibly, used data from hospitals obtained by Chicago-based company Surgisphere founded by Dr Sapan Desai who is one of the co-authors.

The study said it had failed to find any benefit of HCQ or CQ (chloroquine, which too is anti-malarial) in Covid treatment.

And that these were associated with “decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias” when used for Covid treatment.

After The Lancet red-flagged that study, on Wednesday, WHO quoted its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a tweet: “On the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol. The Executive Group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial.”