A clinical study evaluating whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 infections in people at risk of contracting the virus found that it isn’t more effective than the placebo, according to media reports.
The results from the double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled trial of hydroxychloroquine are expected to be published on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was conducted by University of Minnesota researchers specifically examining post-exposure prevention.
The use of hydroxychloroquine both to treat COVID-19 or prevent disease in high-risk individuals, like frontline health care workers, or among those not at high risk has been steeped in controversy, creating a see-saw effect as researchers and politicians debate the merits and risks of a drug that is used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
President Donald Trump has actively promoted the drug before it received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and recently told reporters that he was taking a regimen.
Earlier this week, a negative study published in The Lancet that indicated the hospitalized patients taking the drug were at higher risk of death has been criticized for inaccuracies in the data. And earlier on Wednesday the World Health Organization said it would resume testing hydroxychloroquine in a clinical trial for COVID-19 patients after investigating safety concerns.