Six months after the start of the largest clinical trial fo Covid-19 treatments by the World Health Organization (WHO) were announced the final results of the studies on four drugs in the first treatment arms.
According to the Iran Science Watch (ISW) The Solidarity Clinical Trial for Covid-19 Treatments is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. It is one of the largest international randomized trials for COVID-19 treatments, enrolling almost 12 000 patients in 500 hospital sites in over 30 countries.
The Solidarity Clinical Trial for Covid-19 Treatments , looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality ,initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients.
It found that all 4 treatments evaluated (remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon) had little or no effect on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients.
Other uses of the drugs, for example in treatment of patients in the community or for prevention, would have to be examined using different trials.
The solidarity trial published interim results on 15 October 2020. The results of the trial are under review for publication in a medical journal and have been uploaded as preprint at medRxiv available at this link: https: www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.15.20209817v1
The solidarity trial is considering evaluating other treatments, to continue the search for effective Covid-19 therapeutics. Newer antiviral drugs, immunomodulators and anti-SARS COV-2 monoclonal antibodies are now being considered for evaluation. So far, only corticosteroids have been proven effective against severe and critical Covid-19.
Enrolling patients in one single randomized trial will help facilitate the robust worldwide comparison of unproven treatments. This will overcome the risk of multiple small trials not generating the strong evidence needed to determine the relative effectiveness of potential treatments.
The progress achieved by the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial shows that large international trials are possible, even during a pandemic, and offer the promise of quickly and reliably answering critical public health questions concerning therapeutics.
In general, until there is sufficient evidence, WHO cautions against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to patients with Covid-19 or people self-medicating with them.
writer: Fereshteh Hashemi