Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine trial begins in the UK

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One of the study’s leaders, Prof Nicholas White at the University of Oxford said: “We really do not know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against Covid-19.” But, he said, a randomised controlled trial such as this one, where neither the participant nor the researchers know who has been given the drug or a placebo, was the best way to find out.”A widely available, safe and effective vaccine may be a long way off,” said Prof Martin Llewelyn from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, who is also leading the study.The drug gained attention after US President Donald Trump suggested it may be beneficial, and this week said he was taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus.The US Food and Drug Administration warned against use of the medication outside hospitals, where the agency has granted temporary authorisation for its use in some cases, or clinical trials.While the University of Oxford trial is taking place in a controlled clinical environment, the World Health Organization has warned that some individuals were self-medicating and risked causing themselves serious harm.

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