Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted and previously taken by President Donald Trump to fight coronavirus, has fallen out of favor and public view as studies — like one halted Friday — have suggested it does little to treat infection while exposing users to dangerous side effects.
Not all researchers have given up on the drug, however, and recent developments show it is not yet dead as a potential weapon against COVID-19, especially as a preventative in people not yet exposed to the virus.
On Thursday, three authors retracted a widely publicized study about the use of the drug in coronavirus patients. The authors had found COVID-19 patients who took the drug were more likely to die. After its publication in the influential British medical journal The Lancet, however, the authors faced criticism over their data.
When the company that supplied the data declined to provide the full data set and other information for review, three of the study's four authors wrote, "Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”