WHO pauses Hydroxychloroquine study amid concerns over drug’s safety

A World Health Organization study examining hydroxychloroquine — the controversial anti-malarial drug President Donald Trump says he’s taken to ward off coronavirus — has stopped amid safety concerns of prescribing the drug as a treatment for the virus, Forbes reports.

For now, a trial looking into the effectiveness of the drug in treating coronavirus has been suspended temporarily, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, while adding the drug is still generally seen as safe in treating malaria.

The announcement comes after the medical journal The Lancet published a paper linking hydroxychloroquine to an increased risk of death and heart problems compared with those who are not taking the drug, with Ghebreyesus citing the paper as a reason for suspending the trial.

The paper came soon after the medical publication wrote a scathing editorial criticizing Trump’s response to the pandemic, saying “health should not be guided by partisan politics.”

Trump himself had been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment against the coronavirus, saying Sunday he had “just finished” a two-week trial.

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