The World Health Organization (WHO), on Wednesday, stressed that irrespective of a physician’s right to prescribe certain drugs to ill patients, large studies revealed that hydroxychloroquine does not cure coronavirus.
“And it is still obviously the right of any physician to prescribe a drug for a patient according to national laws and national guidelines but all we can say is at this stage it does not appear that hydroxychloroquine has a benefit in the treatment of sick patients with covid-19,” Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, disclosed during a Question and Answer Session, in Geneva.
Recall that a U.S-based doctor, Stella Emmanuel, who spoke under the aegis of America Frontline Doctors, had recently claimed that Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and antibacterial drug, Zithromax, were effective cures for the Covid-19.
She added that she used those drugs in curing about 350 Covid-19 patients.
But Mike, while responding to a question about efficacy and effects of the hydroxychloroquine drug, said that it was still undergoing clinical trials like other drugs.
Ryan observed that even though small studies showed positive signs about the drug, WHO relied on the larger research.
“Well, I think that many many drugs have been tried in this case.
“Infact, we’ve had Hydroxychloroquine as part of our solidarity trials as have other big trials around the world.
“What is clear is that while there have been some observations as some smaller studies and observational studies that indicated some positive impact; all of the large studies that have been done so far are the once that have been controlled, randomized trials, have not demonstrated a positive outcome or improvement in using hydroxychloroquine in ill patients in terms of improving their outcome,” he said.
He added that, “what’s still under study is the use of hydroxychloroquine as a drug…to potentially reduce the chances of you getting sick if you have been exposed or if you’ve got mild infection but we’re still waiting for final results on that.”
Ryan retariated that larger scientific evidence proved that hydroxychloroquine does not cure covid-19.
But he said that WHO would keep seeking and learning until it arrived at a Covid-19 cure.
“I think that it is clear that the overwhelming medical evidence is that hydroxychloroquine, based on the science and based on the published evidence does not show significant impact in improving the outcomes for patients with confirmed covid-19.
“But we continue to look, we’ve seen Dexamethasone and other drugs show some positive effect and we will continue to keep open mind but what we do have to do is to do the biggest studies we can in the most controlled way and give the best information to people and many many independent agencies around the world have come to that same conclusion,” he mentioned.
Furthermore, he warned physicians administering hydroxychloroquine to closely watch their patients.
“The other thing we need to be careful is that… hydroxychloroquine is associated with potentially significant side effects and should only ever be taken, especially in the context of covid-19 under medical supervision,” he said.