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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Study Finds Positive Results For Hydroxychloroquine

KHN Morning Briefing

Whether or not the anti-malarial drug is effective has been a controversial question since President Donald Trump began hyping it in March. Now, Henry Ford Hospital researchers report a “significant reduction” in mortality rates with patients who were hospitalized between March 10 and May 2 and treated with it. But, adding to the debate around the drug’s power against the virus, the World Health Organization halts a trial using hydroxychloroquine and HIV treatment lopinavir-ritonavir in hospitalized COVID patients after interim results showed the drugs did not reduce mortality rates.

Advocates Want More Warnings From FDA On Diabetes Drug Linked To Fatal Reactions

KHN Morning Briefing

Because the drug can cause a potentially fatal condition called ketoacidosis in diabetic patients, advocates are calling on the FDA to issue a “black box” warning–the most severe that the agency can slap on a product. In other pharmaceutical news: fatty liver disease treatments, a biotechnology startup, and supplements.

Common Steroid Found To Reduce Mortality Rate In Severe COVID Patients In Study Hailed As ‘Tremendous’

KHN Morning Briefing

The “significant” results from the Oxford University research shows that dexamethasone reduces mortality in severely ill patients. Some scientists remain cautious though, wanting to see the actual data. “We’ve been burned before,” Dr. Kathryn Hibbert, director of the medical intensive care unit at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, tells Reuters.

An Ethical Quandary: In Vaccine Trials, Is It Worth The Risk To Infect Healthy People?

KHN Morning Briefing

Trials using healthy volunteers would speed up the development of a safe vaccine for everyone else. But scientists and ethicists are still debating where that falls on the ethical spectrum of risk and benefits. In other news: how super antibodies could lead to a vaccine; Moderna projects a fall release of efficacy data; and more.

FDA Sends Strong Message As Agency Yanks Emergency-Use Approval Of Controversial Malaria Drug

KHN Morning Briefing

The FDA’s decision to revoke the authorization of hydroxychloroquine sends the message that “hospitals, doctors, patients and families really think twice,” said Jessie Goodman, a former FDA chief scientist. The drug, which President Donald Trump has touted and said he took, can have dangerous side effects and has yet to show any benefits in studies for COVID-19 patients.