Hydroxychloroquine has no benefit to patients hospitalised with COVID-19, finds trial
The RECOVERY trial has stopped enrolment for the hydroxychloroquine arm after data revealed the drug had no meaningful benefit for hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
The Chief Investigators of the Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) Trial have stopped the enrolment of patients onto the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial, after a review of the data revealed the treatment had no meaningful benefit on mortality.
Professor Peter Horby and Professor Martin Landray, the chief investigators said that, after the independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended they review the unblinded data on the hydroxychloroquine arm they “concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19”.
As a result, they have stopped enrolment for this arm of the RECOVERY trial with immediate effect.
They continued: “We are now releasing the preliminary results as they have important implications for patient care and public health.
“A total of 1542 patients were randomised to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3132 patients randomised to usual care alone. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (25.7 percent with hydroxychloroquine vs. 23.5 percent for usual care). There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on hospital stay duration or other outcomes.
“These data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Full results will be made available as soon as possible.”
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford and Chief Investigator for the trial, said, “Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have received a lot of attention and have been used very widely to treat COVID patients despite the absence of any good evidence. The RECOVERY trial has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Although it is disappointing that this treatment has been shown to be ineffective, it does allow us to focus care and research on more promising drugs.”
Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at University of Oxford and Deputy Chief Investigator, said: “There has been huge speculation and uncertainty about the role of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, but an absence of reliable information from large randomised trials. Today’s preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are quite clear – hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death among hospitalised patients with this new disease. This result should change medical practice worldwide and demonstrates the importance of large, randomised trials to inform decisions about both the efficacy and the safety of treatments.”