PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The World Health Organization announced Monday that it’s suspending a trial of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19, saying fears of the drug’s potential danger are causing it to “err on the side of caution.”
Despite those warnings Sanford, Avera and Monument Health are continuing with their clinic trial of the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine was first touted as a possible drug that might fight coronavirus.
That’s why all three major health systems in South Dakota wanted to conduct a statewide clinical trial to study the effects of the drug often used to treat malaria.
“We will give some people a placebo and we will give some hydroxychloroquine and will measure outcomes, and we will be able to say yes or no, I’m not invested if it works or doesn’t work what I want to know is an answer so we can move forward,” Dr. Allison Suttle of Sanford Health said.
The study got underway on May 14th and so far only a handful of patients have been a part of it.
“The reason we are going to continue and why this trial is so important because it is at a very different stage of the ailment, most of the data we’ve seen where hydroxychloroquine is harmful or not have any benefits has been on those individuals who are very sick with the disease or in the hospital,” Dr. Suttle said.
The health systems are no longer giving hydroxychloroquine or a placebo to patients in the hospital, only to those who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The study will monitor and track those who have been exposed to the virus for 45 days.
The health systems say there are no results as of yet to determine if hydroxychloroquine is effective in the fight against COVID-19.
If anyone has questions about the clinical trial, you should call Sanford Health.