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With input from Dr Monica Vasudev
1112: After months of testing some repurposed drugs, researchers in the largest study for potential COVID-19 treatments have noted that many of them are not effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- The WHO’s Solidarity trial is the world’s largest ongoing randomized control trial of potential COVID-19 therapeutics.
- The agency released an interim report of patient responses to repurposed drugs, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, for the treatment of COVID-19.
- In all, 2,750 volunteers received Remdesivir, 954 were given HCQ, 1,411 received Lopinavir, 651 were administered Interferon plus Lopinavir, 1,412 received only Interferon, and 4,088 received placebo.
- There was little or no effect of these drugs on the outcome of COVID-19 over a period of 28 days.
- Some of these drugs have received emergency–use authorization by governments of many countries. However, these permissions could now change based on the Solidarity trial findings, which includes 11,266 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, across 30 countries.
- The study assessed the impact of these treatments on mortality, ventilator use, and length of hospital stay.
- It didnt evaluate other uses of the drugs for COVID-19, like in treating patients in a COVID-19-infected community, or for COVID-19 prevention.
- After finding that HCQ had no positive impact on COVID-19 infected patients, The WHO, FDA, Oxford University and other countries discontinued their ongoing trials. WHO also discontinued anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir trials in July after reviewing the progress of these drugs during the interim results.
- WHO is now looking at monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulators and some newer antiviral drugs.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA