Ramon Antonio Vargas at The Guardian:
People who took an anti-malaria treatment that Donald Trump touted as a cure for Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic and waning days of his presidency were 11% more likely to die from the virus, according to a new scientific study.
The study’s authors – who published their findings in the peer-reviewed Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal – also estimated that nearly 17,000 people in six different countries, including the US, died after contracting Covid-19 and taking the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine.
Doctors who prescribed hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 at the height of activity restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus did so off-label and without evidence that there was any clinical benefit, as the authors of the new study noted. The study’s conclusions “illustrate the hazard of drug repurposing with low-level evidence for the management of future pandemics”, its authors added.
A meta-analysis of randomized trials produced the findings in the study released by Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, a 67-year-old journal edited by DM Townsend of the Medical University of South Carolina.