One minor side effect of the pandemic is that perhaps more people will learn about what drug research and clinical trials can really be like. Today’s example: we have a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine from Wuhan that has just published on a preprint server. What’s good is that this one is blinded, randomized, and controlled (like the earlier hydroxychloroquine which one I blogged about here from Zhejiang University, so we can actually talk about it rather than just spend all our time wondering what the heck is going on.
Amen to this.
This is actually the first controlled study to show any benefit for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine therapy against the coronavirus – it may sound odd to say that, but all the positive reports we have had up to now are anecdotal reports and open-label studies without control groups.
So my opinion of this latest study is “cautious approval”, and that probably sums up my feelings about hydroxychloroquine as a therapy in the Covid-19 epidemic in general. It’s a long way from “This is the cure and it’s unethical to disagree”, that’s for sure. More data will be coming, and we’ll revisit the topic then.