Covid-19: Nigeria won’t suspend hydroxychloroquine trial despite WHO’s warning

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Barely 24 hours after the World Health Organisation, WHO, suspended all clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has said the trial will continue in Nigeria.

The Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this in an interview on a private television station.

The UN agency had on Monday said it had ‘temporarily’ suspended the clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 over safety concerns, adding that the decision followed a study in The Lancet that the use of the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,“ WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus had said.

Chloroquine is a synthetic drug introduced in the 1940s. It is a member of an important series of chemically related agents known as quinoline derivatives. Hydroxychloroquine is a related compound that was introduced in 1955.

But Mrs Adeyeye said there were proven records that hydroxychloroquine had been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

According to her, this is most effective in those at the mild stage of the virus. “There is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for many COVID-19 patients. Therefore, we would continue our own clinical trials in Nigeria. Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” she said.

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