The World Health Organisation (WHO) has resumed the trial of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a form of treatment for COVID-19. The trial for the drug, which United States President Donald Trump has touted, was initially suspended over safety concerns.
The Data Safety Monitoring Board reviewed available data on the drug and found no reason to discontinue the international trial, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday, 3 June. “The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” he said.
On 25 May, the WHO paused the trial after a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that the drug posed a higher risk of death for COVID-19 patients. A re-examination is underway for that study. Officials from the United Nations agency said there’s no evidence the drug reduces mortality among patients infected with the coronavirus disease.
Tedros vowed to closely monitor the safety of all therapeutics used in the trials, which involve over 3,500 patients in 35 countries.
“WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity,” he said