(Reuters) – On Saturday, the US National Institute of Health said it had stopped a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for treating hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The study found that hydroxychloroquine, which President Donald Trump often touted as a possible treatment, did no good to patients, although it did no harm, the NIH statement said.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced that testing for hydroxychloroquine in its large multi-country trial for treating patients with COVID-19 was stopped after new data was received, and the studies showed no benefit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has revoked its authorization to use hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 in emergencies on Monday.
Trump promoted the drug as a potential treatment, saying that in March it may turn out to be “one of the most significant changes in the history of medicine” when used in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin.
Last month, in an unexpected announcement, Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative after two White House assistants tested positive for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
NIH announced its test of hydroxychloroquine, which is used to treat malaria and rheumatoid diseases such as arthritis, in April.
(Report by Aakriti Bhalla in Bangalore; edited by Tim Ahmann and Margarita Choi)