While the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization on March 29, 2020 for experimental coronavirus treatments using hydroxychloroquine, its efficacy remains a hotly debated topic. The Department of Health and Human Services has noted that “anecdotal reports suggest that this drug may offer some benefit in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective.”
Now, one group of researchers is calling on first responders to participate in a research study to assess the effectiveness of the drug. The University of Minnesota is looking to enroll participants in a pair of FDA-approved clinical trials to assess whether the drug can help in preventing or treating COVID-19 disease.
Because EMS providers, firefighters and law enforcement officers are likely to be exposed to people with COVID-19, the researchers are actively recruiting first responders across the country who are either:
- Exposed but without symptoms OR
- Experiencing symptoms following a confirmed test or exposure
Participating in this clinical trial is an important way to contribute to the medical community’s understanding of COVID-19 and how we can fight it. For first responders—a community used to serving others—participating in research efforts like this one is another way of saving lives, as the information gained in the study will be immediately applied to COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
To learn more and enroll in this study, go to https://covidpep.umn.edu/. (Please note that where the study materials refer to “healthcare workers,” this includes first responders.)