Hospitals to join in WHO drug trials


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: Nine Malaysian hospitals will be included in the global drug trials for Covid-19 launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a joint press release, the Health Ministry and WHO said Malaysia was selected to participate in the global “Solidarity Trial” to test several drugs to treat the disease.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry fast-tracked the process to implement the drug trials to treat Covid-19 patients.

“The nine hospitals are Tuanku Fauziah Hospital, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Penang Hospital, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Melaka Hospital, Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital, Sarawak General Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” it was said in a statement.

The research will be led by Dr Chow Ting Soo, who is the infectious disease consultant in the Penang Hospital, with a team of 16 infectious disease physicians and pharmacists.

Dr Noor Hisham said the trials would adhere to safety standards set by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

“Malaysia’s participation in this worldwide trial could help find life-saving medicines for Covid-19 through evaluating their safety and effectiveness,” he said.

He added that the Institute for Clinical Research and Clinical Research Malaysia would also help to support the implementation of the drug trials.

The trials will test the effectiveness of four treatment protocols using different combinations of the drugs – Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Interferon beta, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.

Dr Ying-Ru Lo, head of mission and WHO representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, said one of the drugs could be the world’s “best hope” to treat Covid-19 patients.

“This is our chance as a global community to turn the tide against the pandemic.

“Malaysia will be a valued partner in this trial to evaluate potential treatments that are more effective, and to save lives in the global battle against the virus,” she said.

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