By Deena Beasley
(Reuters) – An old malaria drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the coronavirus provided no benefit and potentially higher risk of death for patients at U.S. veterans hospitals, according to an analysis that has been submitted for expert review.
There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines specifically for the new coronavirus. But decades old hydroxychloroquine has been widely used in an attempt to alter the course of the COVID-19 respiratory illness based on anecdotal reports that it may provide some benefit.
An analysis of Veterans Health Administration (VA) data found that 28% of 97 patients given hydroxychloroquine along with standard care died, compared with a death rate of 11% for the 158 patients that did not receive the drug. The death rate was 22%…