top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

French Covid-19 drug trials may resume

Study that prompted World Health Organisation to halt trials of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus called into question

France's medical watchdog is considering whether to restart clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine after questions were raised over research that claimed the anti-malaria drug showed no benefit for coronavirus patients, and even increased the likelihood of death.

The Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) is to re-examine its position on the trials, after prestigious medical journal The Lancet this week acknowledged "important" questions had been raised over the data used in research behind a peer-reviewed article it published, that had prompted authorities in France to call a halt to all studies of the drug as a potential treatment for Covid-19.

The article had also prompted the World Health Organisation to change its position on hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment. One of the drug’s foremost champions is French doctor, Didier Raoult.

The Lancet said it had concerns about a database used to look at how older drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, may work as a treatment for the new coronavirus.

"Although an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors ... and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly, we are issuing an 'Expression of Concern' to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention," The Lancet said in a statement on Tuesday.

An Expression of Concern from an academic journal indicates that the publication considers research potentially problematic.

A separate study, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that hydroxychloroquine - taken by US President Donald Trump as a precaution after White House staff were diagnosed with coronavirus - was no better than a placebo at preventing patients contracting the disease.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now