DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Southern Philippines Medical Center has announced on Tuesday that they may start enrolling their Covid-19 patients for a trial of therapies to be undertaken by the World Health Organization Solidarity next week.
The WHO launched the Solidarity Trial on March 13, which is an international randomized clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of four possible therapies in treating Covid-19.
The therapies are the investigational antiviral Remdesivir, the antimalarial drug Chloroquine, or Hydroxychloroquine, the antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV Lopinavir with Ritonavir, and Lopinavir with Ritonavir plus Interferon beta-1a.
More than 100 countries have joined the Solidarity Trial with more than 1,200 patients randomized from the first five countries. In the Philippines, at least 20 Level 3 hospitals nationwide will be participating in the trial.
SPMC Chief Training Officer Maria Elinore Concha said they are waiting for the “formal ethics clearance” after the approval of the Single Joint Research Ethics Board (SJREB) last April 17 for the country to participate in the WHO Solidarity Trial.
She said currently the hospital is chloroquine, hydroxyl chloroquine, and other anti-viral drugs for clinical care, while waiting for the Remdesivir.
Concha clarified that these drugs “are not miracle drugs, guaranteed that it will work. In this research, we aim to establish a good treatment regimen. If these combinations of drugs are used, more often than not it will be successful, “she added.
She reiterated that the WHO conducted this as the use of the said drugs has been proven effective against the virus in many countries of the world.
The Coalition for People’s Right to Health welcomed the participation of the country to the Solidarity trial as this helps in knowing the effects of the 4 drugs now used in treating Covid-19 and possibly result in finding the best treatment to the disease.
The health group said that Solidarity is the biggest clinical trial compared to countries having a low population conducting clinical trials.
“As per ethics observed in clinical trials, the use of drugs in question may be terminated if the patient’s condition worsens,” the group added.
The Philippine representatives to the WHO Solidarity clinical trial are led by Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, in close collaboration with the DOH and the WHO. (davaotoday.com)