6 June 2020, Saturday | 10:01pm

9 Msia hospitals to begin Covid-19 drug tests in WHO global effort


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s participation in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) `The Solidarity Trust’ research initiative entails the country’s involvement in an international effort to test several drugs in treating Covid-19.

The WHO's globally-coordinated trial was described as “an unprecedented effort” to gather reliable data and compare the safety and effectiveness of four treatment protocols using different combinations of Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Interferon beta, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, a joint WHO-Health Ministry (MOH) statement said today.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has fast-tracked the process to implement the drug trials to treat patients with Covid-19, which will begin soon.

Nine MOH hospitals included in the initiative are:

* Tuanku Fauziah Hospital

* Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital

* Pulau Pinang Hospital

* Sungai Buloh Hospital

* Kuala Lumpur Hospital

* Melaka Hospital

* Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital

* Sarawak General Hospital

* Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The research will be headed by Pulau Pinang Hospital’s head of Infectious Disease (ID) consultant Dr Chow Ting Soo, with a team comprising 16 ID physicians and pharmacists as co-investigators at the respective MOH hospitals.

“The trials will adhere to all safety standards set by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

“Malaysia’s participation in this worldwide trail could help find life-saving medicines for Covid-19 through evaluating their safety and effectiveness,” he added.

The Health Ministry’s Institute for Clinical Research (CR) and Clinical Research Malaysia will help facilitate the implementation of the WHO-initiated trial in Malaysia, he added.

“The global pandemic is affecting more than 180 countries, and one of these drugs may be our best hope for treating people infected with Covid-19,” head of mission and WHO representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, Dr Ying-Ru Lo said.

“This is our chance, as a global community, to turn the tide against the pandemic.

“Malaysia will be a valued partner in this trial to evaluate potential treatments that are more effective, and to save lives in the global battle to fight this virus,” she noted.

Source: New Straits Times


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