Coventry doctors enrol in hydroxychloroquine trial to prevent COVID-19

The trial is investigating whether a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to prevent malaria, can protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

Pictured: Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate tablets on a pharmacy shelf.

30 healthcare workers from University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) have volunteered to take part in the world’s only trial of preventative medicine to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

The study is investigating whether a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine, a drug currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can help to prevent COVID-19.

UHCW is the only hospital in the region currently partaking in the pioneering study which is the largest interventional COVID-19 trial in the world, involving up to 40,000 frontline healthcare workers worldwide.

Consultant Microbiologist Dr Steve Laird, research lead on the study at UHCW, believes the research could potentially change the way COVID-19 is managed globally.

“The UK trial has so far recruited 106 participants and it’s amazing to see a large amount of these are local healthcare staff, including from UHCW”, said Dr Laird.

“This is another example of how our employees are going above and beyond every day to support and protect our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s great to be able to offer the opportunity for our staff to take part in national and international studies and really helps to put Coventry on the map as a leader in groundbreaking healthcare research.”

Hydroxychloroquine has been used for over 50 years to prevent and treat malaria and rheumatoid arthritis. It has an excellent safety profile, making it potentially suitable for mass use.

Trial participant, David, who has worked at UHCW for almost 20 years, was one of the first people to volunteer to take part in the study at UHCW.

He explained: “I am taking part I want to believe that do my bit to help researchers find out if there is a benefit in using hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 infection.

“I know hydroxychloroquine had been tested for use in preventing malaria so was happy that it is safe to use. I’ve been in the study for 30 days now with no ill effects and it’s been nice and simple, taking one tablet a day and taking my temperature twice a day.

“To any healthcare worker who is interested in taking part in the trial then I’d say give it a try, it’s a simple process and it may just contribute to saving many lives in the long run.”

Further information is available at copcov.org/participant.html.