PARIS | treated patients “long-term” with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, in particular for autoimmune diseases, have not been less affected by severe forms of COVID-19 during the epidemic, shows a French study published on Tuesday.
This study, conducted on nearly 55,000 patients, “does not suggest a preventive role of the use of antimalarials, synthesis (APS) – long course on the risk of occurrence of a hospitalization, intubation, or death related to the COVID-19”, conclude the authors.
“Even if the observational study does not allow to firmly conclude to the absence of benefit of anti-malarial drugs synthesis for the prevention of a severe form of COVID-19, these results argue in favour of a precautionary use of hydroxychloroquine in the population, including the population most at risk, and it is outside of therapeutic trials dedicated”, insist the researchers.
They studied “the set of individuals who have received at least six grants reimbursed to antimalarials, synthesis (hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine) between 1 January 2019 and February 15, 2020, the last during the last quarter of 2019 or early 2020”.
Hydroxychloroquine, a derivative of the antimalarial drug chloroquine, is specifically prescribed in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
The results are even highlighted “a surrisque of hospitalization, intubation and death related to the COVID-19 among patients in the APS over the long run compared to the French general population”.
But “the analyses carried out suggest that this surrisque is explained by the characteristics related to the pathology underlying chronic” of these patients, “including the co-medication with steroids oral, rather than by exposure to the APS itself.”
This study was carried out by Epi-lighthouse, structure, bringing together the Agency of the drug (MSNA) and the health Insurance, from the data of the latter (in particular reimbursements of medicines and medical records of the hospitals (dates of hospitalization, diagnoses, medical procedures, and medicines…)
Most of the clinical trials testing the hydroxychloroquine was stopped at the end of may, after the publication of a negative study in the medical journal The Lancet (retracted after suspicions of fraud), and then after the results at the beginning of June a large trial british Recovery, according to which the hydroxychloroquine shows “no beneficial effect” for the sick of the COVID-19.
In France, the authorization of derogation from the prescription of hydroxychloroquine to the hospital in the treatment of COVID-19, outside of clinical trials, was withdrawn on 4 may.