Hydroxychloroquine doesn't prevent coronavirus infection, study with more than 800 patients finds

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A box of Plaquenil, an anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine made by Sanofi, used for years to treat malaria and autoimmune disorders.

Alain Pitton | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Hydroxychloroquine, the drug backed by President Donald Trump to combat Covid-19, is no better than a placebo in preventing infection of the coronavirus, according to results expected to be published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial, which is considered the “gold standard” in science, looked at 821 people in the United States and Canada who had been exposed to the coronavirus. About 12% of the people who were given the malaria drug developed Covid-19, compared to 14% who did not receive the drug, according to the study’s findings.

The study was led by Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Minnesota. 

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