On Saturday, the World Health Organization announced the cessation of clinical trials of lopinavir and ritonavir as a combination treatment for hospitalized patients with coronavirus. Also on the "black list" was hydroxychloroquine.
According to WHO, the decision was made on the recommendation of the international steering committee of the “Solidarity Tests” - a program for the exchange of data on the treatment of COVID-19 between countries, which was launched in mid-March. A large-scale study conducted a comparative analysis of the mortality of thousands of patients with COVID-19 who received these drugs. Preliminary research data showed that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir cause a slight decrease in mortality in hospitalized patients, or do not affect survival at all.
The organization’s statement clarifies that the decision to stop testing the drugs only applies to hospitalized patients and does not affect the assessment of other possible studies on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir as a prevention of COVID-19.
Note that the Russian Ministry of Health has not yet ruled out the use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir in the treatment of COVID-19. The drugs were included in the seventh version of the guidelines “Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19)” dated June 3. The antimalarial drug is also mentioned in the guideline “Practical experience in managing patients with a new coronavirus infection COVID-19 in a hospital,” which was published in early June by leading Russian doctors under the supervision of the chief pulmonologist of the NN Burdenko Military Hospital, Professor Andrey Zaitsev. In this case, the appointment of the combination of lopinavir / ritonavir as a treatment, our doctors consider it inappropriate because of the large number of side effects.
“The possibility of their appointment can be considered in extremely severe cases with the ineffectiveness of other treatments, including anti-inflammatory therapy with tocilizumab and GCS,” the doctors write.