HCQ, another drug dropped from Covid treatment protocol

HCQ, another drug dropped from Covid treatment protocol thumbnail

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has removed usage of popular drugs Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from the approved Covid-19 treatment guidelines.

Experts at India’s health research body did not find enough evidence for Ivermectin and HCQ of a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19, Samiran Panda head of epidemiology and infectious diseases at ICMR told ET.

“A lot of discussions took place and the experts finally came to the conclusion that there is not enough evidence that proves the effectiveness of both the drugs and hence decided to drop them from the clinical guidance for management of Covid-19 patients,” Panda said.

Earlier in May, the Union health Mmnistry and family welfare’s directorate general of health services (DGHS) had issued comprehensive guidelines to stop the use of Ivermectin and HCQ along with many other drugs from Covid-19 treatment. However, the guidelines were not endorsed by the ICMR then as there seemed to be a split in opinion among the experts at the DGHS and the ICMR.

The DGHS guidelines however were lauded by the WHO. “Evidence-based guidelines from @mohfw DGHS – simple, rational and clear guidance for physicians. Should be translated and disseminated in all Indian languages. Can be updated as and when new evidence becomes available,” Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, WHO had tweeted then.

The WHO has also been warning against the use of Ivermectin.

Companies like Cipla, Sun Pharmaceuticals and Zuventus have popular Ivermectin brands in the market.

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