A World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine will be stopped from the Solidarity Trial, as it had not reduced mortality of COVID-19 patients.
"Based on the analysis and on the review of the published evidence, the executive group of the Solidarity / recovery trial has ... after the deliberation ... concluded that hydroxychloroquine arm will be stopped from the Solidarity Trial," Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, Medical Officer, Department of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO said on Wednesday at a press conference in Geneva.
"The internal evidence from the Solidarity discovery trial, the external evidence from the Recovery trial, and the combined evidence from these large randomized trials bring together, suggest that hydroxychloroquine, when compared with the standard of care in the treatment of hospitalized COVID patients, does not result in the reduction of the mortality of those patients," she said.
Meanwhile, she emphasized that this does not constitute a WHO policy and that this is not a WHO policy recommendation.
"This is focus on what we are doing on the Solidarity Trial on randomization for COVID patients, but does not apply outside that, and it doesn't constitute WHO policy -- WHO has different processes for developing of guidelines," she added.
Earlier, during WHO press conferences, Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were included in the ongoing "Solidarity trials" that took place across multiple countries. WHO had advised that these drugs be reserved for the treatment of COVID-19 patients within such trials.