Coronavirus: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 2nd April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following their decision to ban the parallel export of drugs used to treat malaria and HIV, whether UK stocks of such medicines are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19; and if so, what (1) clinical evidence has been gathered, and (2) conclusions have been reached, about the efficacy of such treatment.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

United Kingdom stocks of medicines to treat malaria and HIV are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19.

There are suggestions in the Chinese and French literature that both lopinavir/ritonavir and chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial. However, these data are not conclusive, because the studies done are too small, thus the findings, whilst promising, may ultimately be wrong.

The UK will evaluate both these treatments in two large randomised trials, one of which is already underway and the other of which is expected to begin recruitment next week.

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