Press Room: June 5

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By Bernd Sebastian Kamps
& Christian Hoffmann

5 June

Drug Trial

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5 June. Statement from the Chief Investigators of the Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) Trial on hydroxychloroquine:

No clinical benefit from use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19

Peter Horby and Martin Landray, the chief investigators of the RECOVERY Trial issued today a statement on the RECOVERY Trial on hydroxychloroquine. After a review of the unblinded data on the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial, they concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. They therefore decided to stop enrolling participants to the hydroxychloroquine arm of the RECOVERY trial with immediate effect.

The preliminary results: A total of 1542 patients were randomised to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3132 patients randomised to usual care alone. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (25.7% hydroxychloroquine vs. 23.5% usual care; hazard ratio 1.11 [95% confidence interval 0.98-1.26]; p=0.10). There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on hospital stay duration or other outcomes. These data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 (download the PDF).

Peter Horby: ‘Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have received a lot of attention and have been used very widely to treat COVID patients despite the absence of any good evidence. The RECOVERY trial has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Although it is disappointing that this treatment has been shown to be ineffective, it does allow us to focus care and research on more promising drugs.’

Martin Landray: ‘Today’s preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are quite clear – hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death among hospitalised patients with this new disease. This result should change medical practice worldwide and demonstrates the importance of large, randomised trials to inform decisions about both the efficacy and the safety of treatments.’

See also

Reuters: UK halts trial of hydroxychloroquine as ‘useless’ for COVID-19 patients

The Guardian: Hydroxychloroquine does not cure Covid-19, say drug trial chiefs – by Sarah Boseley, Health editor | Major study of thousands of patients led by University of Oxford shows drug is ineffective


The Guardian

5 June. The Lancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history. How could this happen? – by James Heathers | A thoughful analysis of the challenges and limits of peer review.

5 June. WHO advises public to wear face masks when unable to distance – by Sarah Boseley | People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask (link to WHO) when they are out and cannot socially distance, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask.

5 June. Brazil condemned to historic tragedy by Bolsonaro’s virus response – top doctor – by Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro | The politicization of the coronavirus crisis and the Brazilian government’s deliberate “torpedoing” of social distancing efforts has condemned South America’s largest country to a historic tragedy that will most punish the poor, Brazil’s most respected medical voice has said.

5 June. Mines are hotspots for spread of Covid-19, study finds – by Stephen Leahy in Ottawa | Mining sites in Canada, the US and around the world have become hotspots for the spread of coronavirus, and approximately 4,000 mine workers in 18 countries have tested positive, according to a report by an international coalition of non-profit groups.


El País

4 Junio. La segunda ola de la encuesta de prevalencia ratifica la escasa circulación del virus pese a la desescalada – de Oriol Güell | Un 0,8% de quienes dieron negativo en la primera oleada del estudio se han infectado después. Los expertos avisan de que, pese a los datos, la transmisión sigue activa.



5 de Junho. Todos somos importantes e mais nove lições que aprendemos com a pandemia – de Inês Chaíça | Seis meses depois, o mundo mudou devido a um microscópico coronavírus. Sublinhámos a importância da ciência e do Serviço Nacional de Saúde. E inventámos uma nova forma de vida, mais distanciada fisicamente, mas também mais interconectada.


Le Monde

5 juin. Covid-19 : l’hydroxychloroquine n’a « aucun d’effet bénéfique », selon l’essai clinique Recovery – de Hervé Morin | Les résultats du plus grand essai clinique à ce jour incluant des patients hospitalisés pour un Covid-19 sont tombés : « Nous avons conclu que l’hydroxychloroquine n’a aucun effet bénéfique sur les patients hospitalisés avec Covid-19 », ont annoncé, vendredi 5 juin, les professeurs Peter Horby et Martin Landray (université d’Oxford), chercheurs en chef de l’essai britannique Recovery, qui a recruté depuis le mois de mars plus de 11 000 patients dans 175 hôpitaux du National Health Service du Royaume-Uni.


Die Zeit

5. Juni. Der Tag, an dem das Virus kam – von Karsten Polke-Majewski | Die Zahl der Covid-Kranken sinkt, Kliniken nehmen wieder den Normalbetrieb auf. Doch wie knapp sie einer bedrohlichen Notlage entgangen sind, zeigt das Beispiel Weiden.