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WHO halts its trial on Trump’s malaria drug

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Study raises concern that virus patients taking hydroxychloroquine are at higher risk of death and heart problems

A DRUG used by US President Donald Trump has been dropped from a World Health Organization (WHO) trial of potential virus treatments.

It comes after a study raised concerns that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine may raise the risk of death and heart problems for virus patients.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that in light of the study which was published in the Lancet journal, there would be “a temporary pause” on the hydroxychloroquine arm of its global clinical trial.

The US president started taking the drug as a precaution and he has also urged Americans to “take it”, adding: “What do you have to lose?”

But a study of more than 96 000 virus patients given either the drug – or chloroquine which it is derived from – had a higher risk of death and heart problems.

Ghebreyesus emphasised that concerns about the drug relate only to its use to treat Covid-19 and it is still an accepted medication for malaria and auto-immune diseases.

Other treatments in the WHO study, including the drug remdesivir and HIV combination therapy, are still being tested.

– Daily Mail