hydroxychloroquine has “no benefit” for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, researchers reveals

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A major trial of hydroxychloroquine has found it has “no benefit” for patients hospitalised with the coronavirus, researchers said Friday, announcing they had stopped tests of the drug.

The chief investigators in the Recovery trial, which is run by the University of Oxford and is testing a number of potential treatments for the new coronavirus, said in a statement:

We have concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with Covid-19. We have therefore decided to stop enrolling participants to the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Recovery trial with immediate effect. We are now releasing the preliminary results as they have important implications for patient care and public health.

Hydroxychloroquine, an old malaria and rheumatoid arthritis drug, has been touted by many, including the US president, Donald Trump, as a potential treatment or prophylactic for coronavirus infection.

The announcement comes in the same week that the World Health Organization (WHO) restarted its trials of hydroxychloroquine after they were temporarily halted because of a now-retracted study in The Lancet medical journal.