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Hope hydroxychloroquine despairs despite medical research detailing drug failures being withdrawn

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A month ago, approximately 70% of COVID-19 patients treated at the 13 Hackensack Meridian Health System hospitals in New Jersey were given hydroxychloroquine as part of their care.

That is no longer the case. Clinicians and hospital managers made decisions according to a series of clinical studies, including an internal study published May 27. Preprint According to Dr. Stuart Goldberg, a doctor at the Hackensack University Medical Center, a drug that has long been used as an antimalarial drug did not improve the outcome of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

read: So far, there is little evidence of chloroquine as a COVID-19 drug, but it is already in short supply

Hydroxychloroquine became a household name when President Donald Trump and other members of the government’s Coronavirus Task Force joined in March. First we discussed the possibility publicly As COVID-19 treatment. However, the drug has faced steady scientific and political scrutiny as to whether it actually helps treat or prevent coronavirus infections. At the same time, there are growing questions about the integrity of medical research during periods of overload of clinical and scientific information, and the political promotion of unidentified therapies.

“Politics played a role, driving people from doing good science,” said Goldberg. “As a scientist, it offends me…it scares the public that scientists are not doing their jobs.”

The pros and cons of hydroxychloroquine have come a tortuous path in recent weeks, with an increasing number of studies finding that the drug may not be effective in treating or preventing COVID-19. However, the closely monitored studies published in leading medical journals now also face scrutiny of potential inaccuracies in the data. Was withdrawn Thursday afternoon.

“The protection and widespread use of hydroxychloroquine seems to reflect a reasonable fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, a doctor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. June 3 Editorial New England Medical Journal. “But to some extent media and social forces, rather than medical evidence, appear to drive clinical decisions and the global COVID-19 research agenda.”

Here is a summary of the past two weeks:

• The lancet Investigation The results showed that hydroxychloroquine did not benefit patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and had an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias and in-hospital mortality. Hundreds of doctors and researchers letter To the Lancet editor raising concerns about data and analysts. One fix Made, Lancet placed what it callsExpressing concern, And the authors withdrew the study. “We cannot guarantee the authenticity of the primary data source,” they wrote.

• The study called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to suspend its own drug research. France And some other countries in Europe do not recommend the use of drugs in COVID-19 patients.

• Then on Wednesday the WHO It resumes the trial.. (“Based on available mortality data, the committee members recommended that there is no reason to change the clinical trial protocol,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter.

• A few hours later, the much anticipated University of Minnesota Investigation Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the drug failed to prevent COVID-19 infections. “I’m disappointed that this didn’t prevent COVID-19, but I’m pleased to have provided a definitive answer,” said Dr. David Bourware, senior investigator at the University of Minnesota trial. Stated. “Our purpose was to find the answer.”

Bayer AG first publicly talked about hydroxychloroquine during and several weeks after administration.
Bailey,
-2.98%
,
Mylan
MYL,
+ 0.05%
,
And Teva Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
TEVA,
-1.12%

We promised to donate millions of doses of drugs to the Federal Reserve. (Hydroxychloroquine is commonly used as a treatment for malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and all indications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.)

A week later, the Food and Drug Administration gave some restrictions on how to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are old licenses of the same drug as hydroxychloroquine, an emergency license.

See alsoHydroxychloroquine creates new controversy, but clinical trials are moving forward

Several pharmaceutical companies including Novartis AG
NVS,
-0.82%

And sanofi
SNY,
+ 0.77%

And medical researchers, and National Institutes of Health WHO has initiated a clinical trial aimed at assessing the efficacy of the drug in patients with COVID-19.

Sanofi suspended the investigation, similar to WHO. A Sanofi spokesperson said in an email, saying the company will “check the available information and consult with others to reassess our position in the next few days.”

Novartis said it is proceeding.

“We carefully monitor our clinical trials and other studies conducted using the HCQ and are the best informants of our approach to clinical trials. At this point we are suspending our work on the trial. There is no evidence of controlled testing to do.”

Some analysts are increasingly pessimistic about the potential of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Raymond James analyst Steven Seedhouse told investors this week that “HCQ is unlikely to be an effective treatment in our view once the infection is confirmed.”

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