SD hydroxychloroquine study continues despite WHO concerns about the drug

Source: ZUMA via MGN
Source: ZUMA via MGN(KALB)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 4:06 PM MDT
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Monday, the World Health Organization announced it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug U.S. President Trump says he is taking — from its global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, saying that its experts need to review all available evidence to date.

This came after a paper was published in Lancet showing people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems.

The move won't have an impact on the hydroxychloroquine study that the state of South Dakota is doing. That being said, South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon did say they will take a look at the WHO study.

"The experts that are conducting the (South Dakota) study are taking into account every single other study about hydroxychloroquine so they'll look at the most recent one with the World Health Organization as well," Malsam-Rysdon said.

"The thing that I'll tell you is that there's about 175 studies across the country and across the continents that are dealing with hydroxychloroquine. They're all different in terms of who they're treating, the type of regimen they're using so ... just because we see one study that is not moving forward doesn't mean it is necessarily comparable to the study as it is in South Dakota."

Malsam-Rysdon said the state will look at the WHO study results to ensure the safety protocols in the South Dakota trial "remain strong and will protect people from poor outcomes."

Several weeks ago, South Dakota enrolled its first COVID-19 patient in the study but as of May 26, no figures on how many people may be participating were available.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and for preventing and treating malaria, but no large rigorous tests have found them safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19.