A recent study of 2,541 hospitalized patients published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases concluded the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), in the right settings, can be a lifesaver for some COVID-19 patients. The study took various characteristics into account for each patient — including cardiovascular, immunodeficiency, and lung comorbidities.

Some of the data tables in the study are pretty easy to follow. The study even makes pains to disclosed conflicts of interest some of the researchers had with Gilead— the company behind Remdesivir. The researcher’s data clearly shows a lower mortality rate amongst patients in the cohort that only took HCQ. I was surprised to notice the patients who took HCQ without azithromycin did better than those who took both.

If you’ve been following the HCQ debate, you know several other studies have found no benefit from the drug. Further, you may remember the U.S. FDA withdrew its emergency use authorization a month ago. The natural question, then, is why are these results different?

According to Dr. Marcus Zervos, study co-author & division head of infectious disease for Henry Ford Health System, “For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with COVID.”


#HCQ #remdesivir #DoBetter #infectiousdiseases #conflictofinterest #study


  1. “Study finds hydroxychloroquine may have boosted survival, but other researchers have doubts.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/health/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-detroit-study/index.html. Last accessed: 7/5/2020.
  2. Arshad, Samia, et al. “Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Combination in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19.” International Journal of Infectious Diseases (2020).
  3. “Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine Cut Death Rate Significantly in COVID-19 Patients, Henry Ford Health System Study Shows.” https://www.henryford.com:443/news/2020/07/hydro-treatment-study. Last Accessed: 7/5/2020.


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