UK halts trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients after no benefit found

FILE PHOTO: The drug hydroxychloroquine, pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump and others in recent months as a possible treatment to people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is displayed by a pharmacist at the Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/George Frey

LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists halted a large trial on Monday that had been exploring the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in patients with the pandemic disease COVID-19 after initial results showed no evidence of benefit.

“We reviewed the data and concluded there is no evidence of a beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID, and decided to stop enrolling patients to the hydroxychloroquine arm with immediate effect,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the so-called RECOVERY trial.

“This is not a treatment (for COVID-19),” he added.

Reporting by Kate Kelland and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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