Clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine begins in UK
British health workers will take part in a trial of the effectiveness of two anti-malarial drugs for the prevention of Covid-19. They have begun the trial from Thursday (May 21), led by Oxford University.
US President Donald Trump has said that he is taking one of these drugs.
More than 40,000 health workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America will take part in the ‘Copkov’ (COPCOV) study to determine the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in preventing novel coronaviruses.
Despite warnings from doctors about the use of hydroxychloroquine, Trump said earlier this week that he was taking it as an antiviral drug. As a result, the importance of this drug has increased.
Oxford University in collaboration with Mahidal Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok is conducting the trial.
The trial is set to begin on Thursday (May 21) in hospitals in Britain and Oxford. The test will be performed on British people who came in contact with a person infected or suspected of Covid-19.
We don't really know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine is good or bad for Covid-19, said Nicholas White, a Professor at Oxford University and co-lead investigator of the study. The best way to know this is to do a mass clinical trial.
In Britain, Europe and Africa either hydroxychloroquine or placebo will be used for three months and chloroquine or placebo in Asia.
Moru said they would conduct the trial in 25 locations in the UK by June. There are also plans to conduct trials in Thailand, Southeast Asia, Italy, Portugal, Africa and South America. The results of this study will be available later this year.