World Health Organization advises against using hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment
A World Health Organization panel has officially advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-inflammatory drug previously touted by the Trump administration, for patients infected with COVID-19.
The international health agency revealed that a group of experts recently concluded with “high certainty” that the drug, typically used to treat malaria, ”had no meaningful effect” on deaths or admissions to hospitals, and “moderate certainty” that it actually increases the risk of adverse effects.
The WHO’S findings were published Monday in the medical journal BMJ and were based on clinical trials of more than 6,000 people.
“The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent COVID-19,” the WHO said in a statement.
It added that more than 80 trials slated to enroll at least 100,000 participants for additional research are unlikely to uncover any benefits and should be canceled.
Hydroxychloroquine was launched into the spotlight last year, amid the surging coronavirus pandemic in the United States. At the time, there was little known about the fast-spreading disease, and the drug initially seemed to quell some symptoms.
It was also heavily touted by then-president Donald Trump.
The Food and Drug Administration last march authorized the drug for emergency use authorization, but it was withdrawn by the agency several months later — after it similarly determined it was
“unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses.”
Medical experts have also previously warned against its use due to side effects, including heart rhythm problems.
WASHINGTON — The United States and the European Union are preparing to sanction Russia for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader who was recently jailed, according to senior officials from President Biden’s administration.
Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent Aug. 20, then spent months recovering in Germany. When he returned to Russia on Jan. 17, he was detained and sentenced to prison on what U.S. officials described as spurious charges.
“We’re sending a clear signal to Russia,” said one of the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the announcement of sanctions, expected to come Tuesday. “There are consequences for the use of chemical weapons.”
Former President Trump had previously declined to join European countries in punishing Russia for its targeting of Navalny. An official said Biden’s approach would be “very different than what you saw in the previous administration.”
The sanctions for Navalny’s poisoning are the first of several actions that the Biden administration is considering. Officials are also debating how to respond to the Solar Winds cyberattack, election interference and Russian bounties for the death of American
soldiers in Afghanistan.
“We expect this to be a challenging relationship,”
the official said. “We’re prepared for it to be a challenging relationship.”