Barely 24 hours after the World Health Organisation, WHO, suspended all
clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for
COVID-19, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and
Control, NAFDAC, has said the trial will continue in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this in an interview on a private television station.
The UN agency had on Monday said it had ‘temporarily’ suspended the
clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for
COVID-19 over safety concerns, adding that the decision followed a study
in The Lancet that the use of the drug on COVID-19 patients could
increase their likelihood of dying.
“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the
hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is
reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,“ WHO Director-General,
Tedros Ghebreyesus had said.
Chloroquine is a synthetic drug introduced in the 1940s. It is a member
of an important series of chemically related agents known as quinoline
derivatives. Hydroxychloroquine is a related compound that was
introduced in 1955.
But Mrs Adeyeye said there were proven records that hydroxychloroquine had been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
According to her, this is most effective in those at the mild stage of
the virus. “There is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for
many COVID-19 patients. Therefore, we would continue our own clinical
trials in Nigeria. Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild
stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the
patient’s body,” she said