Hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness for COVID19 treatment continues to be debated, says GlobalData

There is no clinical evidence that hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID19. Some studies using hydroxychloroquine have shown no benefits or even an increase in risk of death, but the number of clinical trials investigating hydroxychloroquine as a primary or secondary intervention continues to expand to determine whether the drug candidate is a key contender as a therapeutic or not, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Scotty Chung-Siu, Senior Analyst of MPH at GlobalData, comments: “Currently, there are 398 COVID19 clinical trials using hydroxychloroquine and/or chloroquine as a primary or secondary intervention. Of these, 216 (54%) of them are currently in ‘ongoing’ status. This signals that much more data are on the way to determine if hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment against COVID19.

“The use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment in COVID19 clinical trials is currently under debate. A study published by The Lancet on 22 May 2020 showed that hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID19 patients. The dataset has been questioned for discrepancies, but not before the World Health Organization (WHO) stopped or suspended its own clinical trials of the drug, including the hydroxychloroquine arm of the SOLIDARITY TRIAL, though this decision has since been reversed.”

Several European countries are prohibiting hospitals from prescribing hydroxychloroquine to patients with COVID19, or are suspending the clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine.

Chung-Siu concludes: “Only large, robust, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials will show if chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is effective and safe to use as a treatment for COVID19, and outweighs the possible risks of mortality and irregular heartbeat.”

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