Spain's Drug Agency Says To Continue Using Hydroxychloroquine Despite Study On Death Risks

Spain's Drug Agency Says to Continue Using Hydroxychloroquine Despite Study on Death Risks

The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) has doubted the reliability of a study published in The Lancet medical journal that suggested a link between the use of hydroxychloroquine and increased death risks among coronavirus patients, saying that it will continue clinical trials and experimental use of the malaria drug

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th May, 2020) The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) has doubted the reliability of a study published in The Lancet medical journal that suggested a link between the use of hydroxychloroquine and increased death risks among coronavirus patients, saying that it will continue clinical trials and experimental use of the malaria drug.

Last week's study in The Lancet suggested that coronavirus patients who received hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates than other individuals with the disease. In the wake of this, the World Health Organization announced on Monday that it was temporarily halting its clinical trials on the drug. France, too, has suspended its use.

In a statement, quoted by El Pais, an AEMPS official said that the study "presents useful information."

"But it is an observational study, not a clinical trial, so it does not allow us to get convincing and indisputable evidence because there are many factors that affect these studies and can lead to them being not completely reliable," the official stated.

According to the official, AEMPS has not received any safety alerts regarding the drug.

"So ... we do not believe that there is a reason to suspend ongoing trials or halt the use of the drug as part of an experimental treatment," the agency said.

According to AEMPS, 15 clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine are currently underway in Spain. In addition, almost all hospitals across the country are conducting observational studies.

In addition, at least 85 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients nationwide are receiving the drug, El Pais said.

As of Wednesday, Spain has confirmed 236,769 COVID-19 cases, including 27,118 deaths.