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State, Health Systems Axe Hydroxycloroquine Trial

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One week after defending the clinical trial, the state and three major health systems in South Dakota are abandoning the hydroxychloroquine trail.

The decision came after the publication of new research that found the drug does NOT prevent COVID-19 for people exposed to the coronavirus.

A University of Minnesota study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine found no benefit of hydroxychloroquine—when compared to a placebo—as a post-exposure preventative therapy.

The clinical trial started on May 14th, and state and health officials say a few patients enrolled, but after repeated calls would not say how many. The state hoped to enroll 2000 people.

Last week, the state and Sanford announced a new phase of the clinical trial to see if it’s a preventative.

Hydroxychloroquine has been controversial since President Trump began touting it as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Noem announced the trial in mid-April. She said the state would “go on offense” against the coronavirus with the clinical trial. Noem says the federal government sent 1.2 million doses to South Dakota, which she said could treat up to 100,000 people.

Studies from the World Health Organization, New York state and the Department of Veterans Affairs showed poor or even harmful results from the drug.

Sanford officials declined to comment on the trial suspension.

The governor’s office says they’re in communication with the federal government to see if it can use the hydroxychloroquine doses for other purposes.