ANKARA - Turkey has been using the malaria drug for all Covid-19 patients and should disclose data about their situations, the Turkish Medical Association has said.
Turkey's use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, in Covid-19 treatment has come under scrutiny after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday (May 26) that it halted a clinical trial of the medication due to safety concerns.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said today in a written statement that WHO's move after the publication of a study by the Lancet medical journal has caused concern among physicians and patients.
Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca previously said that they had been giving the drug to patients in the early stages of the disease and their "unique" approach yielded positive results.
The TTB pointed out that Turkey has been prescribing hydroxychloroquine for all patients, citing a ministry guideline dated April 14. However, the data regarding their treatment has not been disclosed, it added.
Examining data of nearly 100,000 patients across six continents, the Lancet study found an increased risk of a heart attack and a higher mortality rate among patients receiving the drug.
"No data or information regarding treatment such as success rates or side effects in cases monitored under this scheme have been shared with health workers or the public yet.
"Physicians, health workers and even the whole world expect a standard approach to the treatment of Covid-19. For this reason, every information and article arouses interest, although there are problems in the number of cases and the methods of studies.
"We expect the Ministry of Health authorities, who express that they have been managing the Covid-19 pandemic 'successfully' in every opportunity and who do not allow sharing of disease data for Covid-19 patients, to immediately share information regarding age distribution, treatment success rates and observed side effects."