David Boulware, one of the members of the study team from University of Minnesota, outlined that the goal of the research was to know if hydroxychloroquine worked for preventing the disease. The president's promotion of the drug, and the backlash against it, have politicized medical questions that would normally have been left to researchers to answer objectively.
Most of these individuals were deemed at high risk because they had been within two metres of someone with the virus, for more than 10 minutes without any protective gear.
Additionally, volunteers had to have experienced the encounter a few days ago but not experienced any symptoms such as a fever or coughing. In the placebo group, 58 or 407, or 14.3%, became ill.
Dr Boulware's study involved 821 people in the U.S. and Canada living with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 or at high risk of getting it due to their job.
"There's basically no effect".
"Both the numbers of cases and deaths, and the details provided, seem unlikely", the scientists flagged in the open letter.
"The Executive Group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm, " he said.
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Lancet study expresses concern about article against use of Hydroxychloroquine
That difference was not statistically significant, and "it's also not clinically meaningful", Rajasingham says. Participants enrolled nationwide in the USA and in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta in Canada.
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Also, the participants that took HCQ had a higher rate of reporting side-effects such as nausea and stomach pain, which was 40 %, while the placebo's side effects were 17 %.
He then repeated the claims on Twitter. "Based on our trial, we would say that hydroxychloroquine is not the medicine that's going to do that". The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You!
The government of France, which last week ruled against the use of hydroxychloroquine in Covid patients, has written to the Lancet to request a review of the raw data.
Adding to the controversy surrounding the drug, a large observational study on hydroxychloroquine that warned of risky side effects has come under fire in recent days. On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, concerns are mounting about studies in two influential medical journals on drugs used in people with coronavirus, including one that led multiple countries to stop testing a malaria pill.
President Donald Trump said in May that he was taking hydroxychloroquine to guard against COVID-19 infection. But federal regulators have said it should be used only for hospitalized patients or in clinical trials because of possible side effects, including serious heart-rhythm issues.
Just hours after the World Health Organization announced that clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine will resume, the first major study into the drug's effectiveness reported that it was no better than a placebo in preventing symptoms of Covid-19 developing.
Outside experts have raised similar concerns about another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, from numerous same researchers based on Surgisphere data that looked at the safety of blood pressure medications in patients with Covid-19.