State hydroxychloroquine trial discontinued; New research finds lack of efficacy in preventing COVID-19

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 11:45 AM CDT
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South Dakota's statewide hydroxychloroquine trial has been discontinued after new research finds that it is not effective at preventing COVID-19.

Sanford Health spearheaded the state's trial along with Avera Health and Monument Health, which began on May 14th. South Dakota was the first state in the nation to roll out a statewide trial of the anti-malaria drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

New findings from a University of Minnesota research published earlier this week found no benefit of hydroxychloroquine over a placebo as a post-exposure preventive therapy.

South Dakota's trial was in the early stages and had just recently opened for enrollment.

“After closely reviewing the new research, our clinical trial team determined that the South Dakota study is unlikely to see different results,” said Susan Hoover, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford Health infectious disease doctor and principal investigator of the study. “We’re focused on our goal of advancing the science around this disease and will continue to pursue other COVID-19 research.”

“From the beginning, all research decisions regarding this study have been in the hands of the research teams at Sanford, Avera, and Monument, and I value all of their hard work,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “The state appreciates working with the systems, and we will continue to invest our resources into the most promising approaches to preventing and treating COVID-19.”

The partners involved in the South Dakota study are evaluating additional options to collaborate on statewide COVID-19 research.