The World Health Organization has suspended the clinical trials of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, over safety fears.
The drug touted by Trump as a ‘miracle’ cure for Covid-19, is an anti-malarial drug that is used to control autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and lupus.
US president Donald Trump said last week he had begun taking the drug, ‘for about a week and a half now’, going against the advice of his administration’s top medics.
Trump said his White House doctor had not recommended it to him, but that he requested it, adding: ‘I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories.’
Speaking today, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom said that trials of the drug as a Coronavirus treatment had started around two months ago and that initial findings suggested a higher mortality rate among Covid-19 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
Therefore there will be a temporary pause of the trials while the safety data is reviewed to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of the drug.
Dr Tedros said the drugs can continue to be used safely by patients with autoimmune disease or malaria but not for Coronavirus patients.