July 05, 20 - 11:43 am - LABS

WHO terminates hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir studies

On Saturday, the World Health Organization accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms. The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.

The 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. 

Photo: Simone Hogan/Shutterstock

According to WHO, for each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality. “There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity trial. These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication,” wrote de organization in a press statement.

In Brazil, due to the insistence of President Jair Bolsonaro hydroxychloroquine is still allowed. As reported by Época’s columnist Guilherme Amado, Bolsonaro talked to the president of Apsen, a laboratory that produces the drug, more than twice between March and May, the month when the country’s Ministry of Health published a protocol allowing the use of the drug for mild cases even without sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of the drug.

Despite requests from a minister at the Federal Supreme Court and other experts, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has not yet said if it will keep the protocol or not.