From the Journals

Hydroxychloroquine ineffective for COVID-19, VA study suggests


Conflicting messages

Despite lack of clear evidence of benefit for patients with COVID-19, HCQ is recommended off-label by the Chinese National guideline, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency-use authorization for the treatment of adult patients with COVID-19.

Conversely, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a guideline panel convened by the National Institutes of Health each concluded recently that because of insufficient data, they could not recommend any specific treatments for patients with COVID-19.

The VA data for the current study came from the Veterans Affairs Informatics and Computing Infrastructure, which includes inpatient, outpatient and laboratory data and pharmacy claims.

The authors acknowledge some limitations, “including those inherent to all retrospective analyses such as nonrandomization of treatments.”

However, they note that they did adjust for potential confounders, including comorbidities, medications, and clinical and laboratory factors.

A coauthor, Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, is a cofounder of iVeena Holdings, iVeena Delivery Systems and Inflammasome Therapeutics, and has received consultancy fees from Allergan, Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Immunovant, Janssen, Olix Pharmaceuticals, Retinal Solutions, and Saksin LifeSciences, all unrelated to this work. Dr. Ambati is named as an inventor on a patent application filed by the University of Virginia relating to COVID-19 but unrelated to this work. Another coauthor has received research grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Gilead Sciences, Portola Pharmaceuticals, and United Therapeutics, all unrelated to this work. The other authors and Dr. Wessner have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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