Study to investigate protective effects of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19 for healthcare workers
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI; DC, USA) has approved up to US$50 million in funding for a registry and randomized clinical trial investigation into the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for protecting US healthcare workers against COVID-19.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI; DC, USA) has approved up to US$50 million in funding for a nationwide registry and randomized clinical trial investigation into the effectiveness of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for protecting US healthcare workers against contracting COVID-19.
The research will be conducted by investigators from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (NC, USA) and will leverage PCORI’s National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet®) to allow quick and efficient research to be carried out.
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Josephine Briggs, Interim PCORI Executive Director, commented: “For healthcare workers treating patients during this pandemic and beyond, prevention strategies are critical. But we need more data and evidence about [hydroxychloroquine]’s safety and effectiveness. Using PCORnet to power this project will enable rapid data capture and analysis that will provide insights quickly to those who need it most.”
The initiative, entitled ‘Healthcare worker Exposure Response and Outcomes’ (HERO), will be comprised of two components. First, a nationwide registry, which will enroll and engage primary healthcare workers to determine their physical and emotional health statuses and interest in participating in clinical studies. The registry is expected to be launched in early April.
Second, the HERO-Hydroxychloroquine (HERO-HCQ) clinical trial; this randomized, placebo-controlled trial will aim to enroll approximately 15,000 individuals who are participating in the HERO registry. Participants will receive either hydroxychloroquine or placebo for 1 month and investigators will follow subjects, for a further 2 months, to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug in both preventing COVID-19 infection in exposed participants and reducing the amount of virus that asymptomatic healthcare workers might be unintentionally spreading to others.
Dawn Hawley, (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TN, USA) concluded: "It is important to study how we might be able to prevent this infection in our healthcare workers. By taking care of our healthcare teams, this allows us to better take care of our patients."