Source: Argus Leader

South Dakota’s study of an antimalarial drug’s impact on the coronavirus can’t be compared to other studies halted, a Sanford Health leader said. 

Other hydroxychloroquine clinical trials have involved different patients and dosages than South Dakota’s study, said Allison Suttle, chief medical officer at Sanford Health.

Suttle said the study in South Dakota hasn’t been impacted by President Trump discussing hydroxychloroquine. 

“I think it raises awareness and it’s an opportunity to communicate even more,” Suttle said.

The hydroxychloroquine trial in South Dakota, called PEPCOH, is studying whether the drug prevents a person exposed to the coronavirus from becoming ill with it. The study began on May 14 and has “a handful” of people enrolled so far, Suttle said. Their aim is 1,000 people receiving hydroxychloroquine and 1,000 people receiving a placebo.

People in the study receive a similar dosage that’s taken to prevent malaria and they will be followed for 45 days to collect data on whether it prevented the person from developing coronavirus, she said. The dosage used in South Dakota’s trial has been used for decades, she said. The hydroxychloroquine used in South Dakota’s trial is coming from the national stockpile and isn’t taking it away from residents who take it for other reasons.

She said they are carefully choosing people for the clinical trial who don’t have heart conditions and they’re examining the person’s medications to ensure there won’t be drug interactions.

“We feel very confident that this will be a safe trial,” she said.

Clinical trials finding hydroxychloroquine is harmful have used patients who are very ill and hospitalized with the coronavirus while South Dakota’s trial is one of the studies on whether it prevents the coronavirus, she said.

The World Health Organization used hydroxychloroquine in “a very different situation” for its trial than South Dakota is using it, Suttle said. The WHO paused its study earlier this week after a different study was published had lower survivor rates for hospitalized patients given hydroxychloroquine. The WHO was studying the drug’s impact on hospitalized patients and South Dakota’s trial involves a small dose and people who have been exposed to the coronavirus, Suttle said.

Suttle noted that other studies finding it has negative impacts on the coronavirus aren’t “apples to apples” to South Dakota’s study because they weren’t well controlled, or were pulling data from a registry of coronavirus patients and weren’t a controlled study with a placebo.

It’s good to look for “red flags” in treatment at the beginning of a disease, “but there has never been any documentation or information from the CDC, the WHO that using this in a prophylactic, randomized trial is putting patients at risk.”

Allison Suttle, chief medical officer at Sanford Health.

A separate component to South Dakota’s hydroxychloroquine was announced in April to study its impact on coronavirus patients. At this point, Sanford doctors have shifted away from using hydroxychloroquine to treat patients hospitalized with the coronavirus because of the results of other studies, she said.

Related: ‘Going on offense’: South Dakota implements first statewide hydroxychloroquine trial in fight against coronavirus

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
On Trend

Latest Stories

American Hero: Ralph C. Lorigo Fights for Client Rights Including Access to Ivermectin for COVID-19 Patients At Risk

Lorigo shared with TrialSite that once doctors learn of all of the studies around the world, and start doing their own homework, they become more open-minded, factoring in the risk-reward analysis. Especially if elderly high risk patients present advanced COVID-19, Lorigo has personally seen the drug potentially contribute to saving the lives of clients. Interestingly, the attorney reports that it would appear that hospital administrations are the most recalcitrant to the idea, even if the patients and the ICU doctor are in support.

Read More »

The Chloroquine Wars Part XIV – How to Rig Research: Surgisphere Part I

It was in these very moments in late May when public health officials lost all credibility—a credibility that cannot be restored without major changes taking place. Despite most evidence pointing to a likelihood of HCQ efficacy, they made their call on the back of data supposedly tucked away in a database that nobody had verified, declared it definitive, then swiftly pushed for policy changes around the world.

Read More »

Another New York State Supreme Court Justice Ivermectin Order Helping 81-Year-Old Farmer

Ivermectin, a medicine for parasites, has been around for four decades. While not authorized for use against COVID-19, dozens of studies show materially positive results. At well-established human dosage levels, the drug is safe: hundreds of millions of people are treated with it every year mostly in the tropics for various parasite-borne diseases, such as River Blindness in Nigeria.

Read More »

The Chloroquine Wars Part XIII -A Clockwork Orange Man

Immediately following HCQ’s Trump moment, the media went on an all-out blitz to associate the topic of HCQ with a sense of fear. Fear of Trump, fear of death, fear of incompetence, fear of opposing scientific authorities, fear of using medicine needed by somebody else, and fear of the unknown. And the campaign of fear didn’t stop there.

Read More »