Novartis ends study on hydroxychloroquine due to lack of participants
Swiss pharmacist Novartis announced the end of a clinical trial on hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 sufferers due to lack of participants.
On April 20, the group announced an agreement with the U.S. drug agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to conduct phase III clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
These trials aimed to evaluate the use of this treatment in about 440 patients in a dozen places in the United States.
But on June 15, U.S. health authorities withdrew authorization to urgently use two treatments for Covid-19, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which President Donald Trump had long championed.
The FDA had given March 28 authorization to prescribe these malaria treatments, only in the hospital, to patients infected with the new coronavirus.
But in a statement released Friday, Novartis explained that he made "the decision to stop and end a clinical trial with hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19 that he sponsors because of severe recruitment difficulties" of the participants, making it "impossible" finish the study.
The controversy over the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine has gone beyond scientific domain and has become political debate.
The World Health Organization (WHO) this week discontinued trials of this treatment and concluded that this antimalarial drug does not reduce the death rate of hospitalized Covid-19 patients.