lopinavir Current Affairs - 2020

WHO suspended Hydroxycloroquine trials

The World Health Organization recently suspended its trials on the efficacy of the drug Hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. The HCQ trial is one of the four mega trials initiated by the organization.

Mega Trials

The four mega trials include HCQ, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir along with Interferon and Remdesivir.

India’s Current Status

After WHO stopped its trials on HCQ, the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) announced that the drug will continue to be used as preventive treatment of COVID-19. Recently, ICMR revised its guidelines in the usage of HCQ.

In India the drug is mainly recommended for asymptomatic health care workers. It is not used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Reasons of Suspension

The clinical trials of HCQ on COVID-19 patients were suspended considering safety of the patients. WHO raised concerns over the fact that people in different parts of the world taking the drug without any proper medical guidance. While, the drug was recommended by the organization as a treatment and not as preventive measure.

US to donate Ventilators to India

The United States recently announced that it will donate ventilators to India. The announcement is seen as a reciprocal gesture of India’s lift on the export ban of the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine

India recently lifted the export ban over HCQ drugs. This benefitted the United States to larger extent. Also, US being one of the worst hit nations of COVID-19, the lift of ban was of great help. With the lift, around 50 million HCQ tablets were exported to the US.

However, lately studies are finding out that the drug is failing its efficacy in seriously ill patients. According to a study conducted in France and China, the drug failed in randomized controlled trials.

Both US and China had recommended the use of the drug under their national guidelines.

HCQ in India

ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) had recommended the drug in “Prophylactic treatment”. Prophylactic is preventive treatment.

HCQ in WHO

HCQ has been included in one of the four mega trials that are being conducted by WHO (World Health Organization). This includes HCQ, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir along with Interferon, Remdesivir.