In this May 20, 2020 photo, a pharmacy technician holds a bottle and a pill of Hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, United States. (GEORGE FREY / AFP)
GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Saturday that it was discontinuing hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms for its Solidarity Trial, citing little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The WHO said the decision was in light of the evidence from the Solidarity Trial interim results.
"These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect," the WHO said in a press release.
But the organization said this decision applies only to hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.
The Solidarity Trial was established by the WHO in March to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients. It was originally designed to have five trial arms, including standard or usual care provided to COVID-19 patients, remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir combined, lopinavir/ritonavir combined with interferon beta, and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.
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By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival.
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