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Sunday, June 7, 2020



India doubles down on controversial drug
India’s government has extended its recommendation that frontline workers take the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infections. Scientists have criticised the government for issuing advice on the basis of unpublished data and a published study that was not designed to test whether the drug actually prevents infection. Doctors point to cases where the government’s advice has contributed to widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, despite possible side effects.

WHO restarts hydroxychloroquine trial
The World Health Organization (WHO) has resumed testing hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. The drug was temporarily removed from the WHO’s global Solidarity trial because of safety concerns raised by a large observational study published in The Lancet. Yesterday, the journal issued an expression of concern, and noted that an independent audit of the data has been commissioned.

No evidence for hydroxychloroquine protection
A large clinical trial has found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine protects people from COVID-19. The gold-standard trial randomly assigned 821 people to take either hydroxychloroquine or a placebo within 4 days of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in the number of people who developed COVID-19 within two weeks, but those taking the drug did report more side effects than did those taking the placebo. People were not tested unless they showed symptoms, so the study doesn’t take asymptomatic cases into account.
NPR | 
Reference: New England Journal of Medicine paper

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