30 March 2020 – Health Authorities are invited to participate in WHO Solidarity clinical trial

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health, Research and Development
Intervention Categories: Drug-based measures; Research and development
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Ministry of Health leading. Hospitals to be selected implementing.

Overview: Panama’s health authorities are invited to participate in “Solidarity”, because of the transparent way in which it has handled the information related to the pandemic. Solidarity is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners.

The Solidarity Trial will compare four treatment options against standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. Other drugs can be added based on emerging evidence.

Until there is sufficient evidence, WHO cautions against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19 or people self-medicating with them. WHO is concerned by reports of individuals self-medicating with chloroquine and causing themselves serious harm.
Full details here: https://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/03/31/oms-invito-a-panama-a-participar-en-estudio-sobre-medicamentos-para-pacientes-con-covid-19/2730657.html

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee
Source of Evidence or Justification: World Health Organisation
Evidence/Justification: The pressure COVID-19 puts on health systems means that WHO considered the need for speed and scale in the trial. While randomized clinical trials normally take years to design and conduct, the Solidarity Trial will reduce the time taken by 80%.

Enrolling patients in one single randomized trial will help facilitate the rapid worldwide comparison of unproven treatments. This will overcome the risk of multiple small trials not generating the strong evidence needed to determine the relative effectiveness of potential treatments.

The Solidarity Trial provides simplified procedures to enable even overloaded hospitals to participate, with no paperwork required. As of April 21 2020, over 100 countries are working together to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible, via the trial.

The greater the number of participating countries, the faster results will be generated. WHO is facilitating access to thousands of treatment courses for the trial through donations from a number of manufacturers. WHO is also inviting developers and companies to collaborate on ensuring affordability and availability of the treatment options if they prove effective.