Trust ICMR's judgement on hydroxychloroquine in covid treatment, says CSIR's Shekhar Mande

The WHO, on Sunday, announced for a temporary suspension of clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Published: 27th May 2020 01:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2020 01:07 PM   |  A+A-


Image used for representation.


NEW DELHI: Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Shekher Mande, on Wednesday said the Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) conclusion of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) having no major side-effects in the treatment of Covid-infected patients should be trusted.

Indian researchers have not found any major side-effects of HCQ and its use should be continued in preventive treatment for COVID-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Tuesday.

"We should trust the judgement of ICMR. ICMR people are exceptionally well qualified in this. If they say it should be continued we should trust their judgement and will continue this drug," Mande told ANI.

The WHO, on Sunday, announced for a temporary suspension of clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, after a study published in the online medical journal The Lancet found that the use of the drug increased the risk of death by 34 per cent and a 137 per cent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

Mande noted that the CSIR does not have any particular suggestion about hydroxychloroquine. "All it can do is to undertake a clinical trial. At this moment, the hydroxychloroquine is not on our radar to conduct any clinical trial. So CSIR ever has to advise any particular trial of drug formulation, we will do that based on scientific evidence. But we have not generated any scientific on hydroxychloroquine on our own," he added.

Based on profile access, including conditions such as people who are at higher risk of contact with covid patient because of their family relation and profession, Mande said, people should take hydroxychloroquine. "I don't think ICMR ever advice that critically ill patient and ventilator all should give hydroxychloroquine. But we should actually trust what the ICMR has advised," he said further.

Based on 96,000 hospital registries, researchers in the Lancet study came to the conclusion that critical patients, when given hydroxychloroquine, do not show any improvement rather in some, the conditions worsen.

"The Lancet study is based on hospital registry data. That is not a randomised clinical trial. It is only an analysis of hospital registers around the world. But still, in some people, the conditions have worsened, and the WHO temporarily halted the use of the drug. I am sure the WHO will take considered call in the coming time," Mande said.


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