WHO halts hydroxychloroquine arm of Solidarity trial


About two weeks after the RECOVERY trial announced that hydroxychloroquine does not reduce deaths among hospitalised COVID-19 patients and was halting the trial, the WHO has stopped the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity trial.

About two weeks after the RECOVERY trial announced that it is halting the hydroxychloroquine arm as the drug does not prevent deaths and was no longer enrolling participants to the HCQ arm, the World Health Organization on June 17 announced that it too was stopping the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity trial.

The trial’s Executive Group and principal investigators made the decision based on evidence from the Solidarity trial, UK’s Recovery trial and a Cochrane review of other evidence on hydroxychloroquine, the WHO website says.

According to the WHO website, the decision to stop the trial on hydroxychloroquine based on the data from Solidarity (including the French Discovery trial data) and the Recovery trial, which both showed that the drug did not bring about any reduction in deaths among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, when compared with standard of care.

“Investigators will not randomize further patients to hydroxychloroquine in the Solidarity trial. Patients who have already started hydroxychloroquine but who have not yet finished their course in the trial may complete their course or stop at the discretion of the supervising physician,” the WHO says.

It also clarified that the decision was restricted to the conduct of the Solidarity trial and does not apply to the use or evaluation of hydroxychloroquine in pre or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to COVID-19.