Study: Hydroxychloroquine lacks efficacy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Byline: Linda Lindner

Hackensack Meridian Health on Wednesday said that through its observational database it found the touted malaria treatment,hydroxychloroquine, does not improve survival for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

However, another drug, tocilizumab, appears to improve survival among critically ill intensive care unit patients. If confirmed, tocilizumab would become the first medication improving survival from COVID-19.

HMH came to this conclusion based on the HMH Universal Observational Database for COVID-19, or RECOVERY, which compiles outcomes from 13 Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals throughout New Jersey, and in this instance of more than 3,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This database enhances the understanding of this disease and helps rapidly identify effective therapies.

These major findings were released Wednesday on the online platform medRxiv, which allowsresearchers to share critical scientific information prior to publication in peer-reviewedjournals.

"I am so proud of our Hackensack Meridian Health clinical and research teams who are helping to tackle this unprecedented global challenge," said HMH Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrett."This groundbreaking study will help our hospitals, as well as hospitals throughout the world, better understand the effectiveness of certain forms of treatment and the impact of certain risk factors. Our researchers' observations that tocilizumab may improve survival among the most critically ill could alter the course of the pandemic if confirmed in randomized trials and Hackensack Meridian Health is participating in those randomized trials as well."

The outcomes division of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack UniversityMedical Center, under the leadership of Dr. Stuart Goldberg and Dr. Andrew Ip, created a database to guide the analysis of more than 3,000 patients admitted to Hackensack MeridianHealth facilities for urgent care.

Results from the study include:

Among 2,512 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, 76 percent received at least one dose ofhydroxychloroquine and 59 percent...

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