The World Health Organzation announced Monday that it has temporarily suspended clinical trials of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment amid safety concerns.
The move comes after a study last week published in medical journal The Lancet indicated that the use of the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the clinical trials involving the drug had been “suspended while the safety is reviewed.”
“The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board. The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Ghebreyesus said during a virtual press briefing.
An earlier study of more than 300 male patients at Veterans Health Administration medical centers across the country also found a higher rate of death in those who took the hydroxychloroquine, and the FDA in April cautioned against taking the drug outside of hospitals and clinical trials.
President Trump recently revealed that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for several weeks to ward off the coronavirus, but said Sunday he is no longer taking the drug.
With Post wires
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