Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan have found that early administration of the drug hydroxychloroquine makes hospitalized patients substantially less likely to die.
The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, determined that hydroxychloroquine provided a “66% hazard ratio reduction,” and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin a 71 percent reduction, compared to neither treatment.
In-hospital mortality was 18.1 percent with both drugs, 13.5 percent with just hydroxychloroquine, 22.4 percent with azithromycin alone, and 26.4 percent with neither drug. “Prospective trials are needed” for further review, the researchers note.
“Our results do differ from some other studies,” Dr. Marcus Zervos, who heads the hospital’s infectious diseases unit, said at 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.”
A statement from the Trump campaign hailed the study as “fantastic news.”