The scramble to find successful treatments to fight coronavirus is disjointed and chaotic, according to Dr. Derek Angus, chair of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“No,” Angus told CNN when asked if experts have any sense of what has been working in clinical trials. “Look, that sounds depressing to say I don't know.”
“There are two million people already who have this disease. If even one in 10 has been able to participate in a trial, we could have gone through about 100 different drugs by now and known definitively which ones worked or not. But as it is, at this point … we have no idea which one is the best,” Angus said.
Angus, who is leading a Covid-19 trial that’s testing multiple therapies, said the disorder is at a global level and noted that there aren’t enough tests right now to practice effective public health.
“We've got plenty of ideas about what drugs might work, but we need to test these drugs in trials. Otherwise, we're bungling along not knowing what works,” Angus said. There are 94 trials registered for testing the drug hydroxychloroquine, he added.
“I’ve never heard of any drug needing 94 separate trials in the same disease,” he said. “If you're trying to do lots of little trials, that's not as efficient or as useful as trying to do large coordinated trials. We've had over two million confirmed cases of Covid-19, mainly in North America and Europe. And yet, barely more than a few thousand of these two million patients have been enrolled in clinical trials."