CNN: Study Confirms Hydroxychloroquine Does Help Coronavirus Patients

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Trump may have been right all along.

CNN has reported a new study confirms the beneficial use of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients, increasing their survivability.

“A team at Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan said Thursday its study of 2,541 hospitalized patients found that those given hydroxychloroquine were much less likely to die,” the report reads.

Henry Ford Health System infectious disease division leader Dr. Marcus Zervos said the use of the drug saw a sizeable increase in a patient’s survivability versus taking other drugs.

“Overall crude mortality rates were 18.1% in the entire cohort, 13.5% in the hydroxychloroquine alone group, 20.1% among those receiving hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, 22.4% among the azithromycin alone group, and 26.4% for neither drug,” his team wrote in a report published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, CNN reports.

Zervos said a patient should receive the treatment early to see a benefit.

“Our results do differ from some other studies,” Zervos said during a news conference. “What we think was important in ours … is that patients were treated early. 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,” he added.

The use of the drug was put into question by the US Foods and Drug Administration earlier this year after it was learned it could lead to increase cardiac problems.

This finding resulted in the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health halting sponsorships trials for its use.

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But, the Henry Ford Health System was aware of the risk and operated appropriately to avoid it.

“The combination of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin was reserved for selected patients with severe COVID-19 and with minimal cardiac risk factors,” the team wrote.

Henry Ford Medical Group CEO Dr. Steven Kalkanis also praised the drug’s use.

“It’s important to note that in the right settings, this potentially could be a lifesaver for patients,” he said.

“We also want to make the point that just because our results differ from some others that may have been published, it doesn’t make those studies wrong or definitely a conflict. What it simply means is that by looking at the nuanced data of which patients actually benefited and when, we might be able to further unlock the code of how this disease works,” he added.

And: “Much more work needs to be done to elucidate what the final treatment plan should be for Covid-19. But we feel … that these are critically important results to add to the mix of how we move forward if there’s a second surge, and in relevant other parts of the world. Now we can help people combat this disease and to reduce the mortality rate.”

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