UW to conduct clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine

The University of Washington School of Medicine is looking for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to participate in a clinical trial aimed at finding out whether a controversial drug called hydroxychloroquine can keep them from having to be hospitalized.

Word of UW Medicine’s clinical trial comes after reports about a study at Veterans Health Administration medical centers in which COVID-19 patients who took hydroxychloroquine, which is typically used to treat malaria and autoimmune disease, died at higher rates than those who didn’t take the drug.

Today, the Food and Drug Administration warned that hydroxychloroquine carries “known risks” of potentially deadly heart complications — and said the drug should be used in supervised settings such as clinical trials, where the risks can be better studied and mitigated.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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