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UK regulator gives green light to clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19 in healthcare workers

The UK regulator MHRA announced on 26 June that it would again permit recruitment to the COPCOV COVID-19 prevention clinical trial. The MHRA decision came 5 weeks after it reacted immediately to the now-discredited paper published in The Lancet suggesting harms with hydroxychloroquine, and paused recruitment of UK participants. But The Lancet paper was based on fabricated data and was swiftly retracted. After this interruption, recruitment around the globe to COPCOV can now resume.

© © 2020 MORU. Photographer: Supa-at Asarath

A global study (COPCOV) to determine if hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine can prevent COVID-19 will resume enrolment of workers in healthcare facilities and other staff in contact with COVID-19 patients, after getting approval to proceed from the UK medicines agency.

The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) announced on 26 June that it would again permit recruitment to the COPCOV COVID-19 prevention clinical trial. The MHRA decision came 5 weeks after it reacted immediately to the now-discredited paper published in The Lancet suggesting harms with hydroxychloroquine, and paused recruitment of UK participants. But the paper was based on fabricated data and was swiftly retracted. After this interruption, recruitment around the globe to COPCOV can now resume.

Led by the University of Oxford’s Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand, the COPCOV study is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled global trial that aims to enrol 40,000 healthcare workers and other at-risk staff to determine definitively if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19.

The full story is available on the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health website