“We can now stop using a drug that is useless”

British scientists today (June 5) halted a large trial that had been exploring the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in patients with the pandemic disease COVID-19 after initial results showed no evidence of benefit.

“We reviewed the data and concluded there is no evidence of a beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID, and decided to stop enrolling patients to the hydroxychloroquine arm with immediate effect,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the so-called RECOVERY trial.

“This is not a treatment for COVID-19. It doesn’t work,” he said.

“This result should change medical practice worldwide,” he added. “We can now stop using a drug that is useless.”

The anti-malarial drug has been highly controversial since U.S. President Donald Trump said the drug could be a potential “game changer” in the coronavirus pandemic and after a study published in medical journal The Lancet last month, which led several COVID-19 studies to be halted.

The Lancet study was retracted late on Thursday.


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