A once-promising study on the drug hydroxychloroquine has been halted by the Henry Ford Health System due to a lack of participants. The study, which began in April, was discontinued before Christmas because only 624 people enrolled for the clinical trial that required 3,000 participants.
Researchers wanted to investigate whether the hydroxychloroquine could prevent or slow the progress of COVID-19, but were forced to terminate, stating “given low recruitment potential, it is unlikely that a positive result will occur.”
According to the Washington Examiner, a previous study by the Henry Ford Health System found that COVID-19 patients who took the drug had half the mortality rate of those who did not. Doctors at Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan said that 26% of patients who did not receive the antimalarial drug died compared to 13% of patients who received hydroxychloroquine during their stay in the hospital.
The team published their findings in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, adding that patients who were given hydroxychloroquine alone did even better than the ones who received this drug along with azithromycin, according to CNN. Several scientists criticized that research, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Other studies have not shown that there is any benefit to taking hydroxychloroquine and said that it may increase cardiovascular risk for some people. President Donald Trump said in May that he was taking the drug and called it a possible “game changer,” according to ABC News.
The Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine in June when new evidence found it to be ineffective, according to the Examiner. Trials around the world that were sponsored by the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health were stopped, according to CNN.
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