As of this week, Williamson Medical Center employees can sign up for a clinical trial drug that could help their resistance to the coronavirus.
The study will evaluate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing coronavirus infections in health care workers. Dubbed the HERO-HCQ Trial, WMC could have up to 375 health care workers participate.
Nationwide, around 15,000 clinicians will work with researchers at Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic and Vanderbilt University to determine the outcome. The Food and Drug Administration cautioned in April against the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 treatment outside of hospitals or clinical trials due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.
“All subjects enrolled in clinical trials have to complete an informed consent,” WMC Dr. Aaron Milstone said. “This is a full description of every aspect of the trial including time points for visits, follow up and a full description of the medication. Informed consents are confidential between the subject and the clinical trial site. This trial is being conducted nationwide at 40 major medical centers in the United States. The informed consent was designed in cooperation with the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control.”
Milstone, a pulmonologist with WMC, is one of the main investigators of the trial. Only those who are healthy and working as a health care worker may participate in the trial. No one with symptoms of COVID-19 or with heart problems will be allowed to participate.
The results of the study should be available approximately six to 12 months after the conclusion of the trial, according to Milstone. Participants will use the drug for six to eight weeks.