TEHRAN – Six months after the World Health Organization’s “Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments, Iran was ranked first among the 30 study partners in the “Patient Participation” platform.
Deputy health minister Reza Malekzadeh, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Treatments, called Iran the most active country in WHO study for the treatment of COVID-19, ILNA reported on Monday.
He went on to explain that 11,000 patients hospitalized in 500 hospitals from 30 countries have been included in the study. Among them, Iran, by registering 3,500 patients, won first place in the “number of patients participating” in the clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19.
According to him, this great success has been achieved with the cooperation of 87 leading researchers and with the participation of 3,500 patients in 29 hospitals affiliated to medical universities in 15 provinces of Iran.
Also, Iran as the first place in the registration of patients in the clinical trial study is three times above the next leading countries. In the second place, France has managed to enroll less than 1,000 patients participating in the study.
Announcing that 13 hospitals out of a total of 20 hospitals in the partner countries that had the highest rate of “patient participation” are from Iran, Malekzadeh said that Razi hospital in Rasht, Vali Asr hospital in Arak, and Masih Daneshvari hospital in Tehran are among the top active Iranian hospitals in the study.
Existence of a strong treatment network with the presence of nearly 50,000 specialist and subspecialist physicians in all parts of the country, a large number of principal investigators and physicians interested in the study, allocation of appropriate research funding, extraordinary efforts to provide the drugs needed in clinical trials, motivational factors of hospitalized patients to participate in the study, providing accurate news and information of successful clinical trials to the public are among other factors affecting the achievement of Iran.
“Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments
Solidarity is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. It is one of the largest international randomized trials for COVID-19 treatment, enrolling almost 12,000 patients in 500 hospital sites in over 30 countries.
The Solidarity Trial is evaluating the effect of drugs on 3 important outcomes in COVID-19 patients: mortality, need for assisted ventilation, and duration of hospital stay.
The Solidarity Trial compares treatment options against a standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to evaluate whether any of the drugs improve survival or reduce the need for ventilation or duration of hospital stay. Other drugs may be added based on emerging evidence.
In general, until there is sufficient evidence, WHO cautions against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19 or people self-medicating with them.
The Solidarity Trial published interim results on October 15, 2020. It found that all 4 treatments evaluated (remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, and interferon) had little or no effect on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients.
The Solidarity Trial is considering evaluating other treatments, to continue the search for effective COVID-19 therapeutics.
So far, only corticosteroids have been proven effective against severe and critical COVID-19, according to the WHO website.
COVID-19 mortality hit daily record in Iran
In the press briefing on Monday, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 4,251 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 423,631. She added that 431,360 patients have so far recovered, but 4,771 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.
In the past 24 hours, 337 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 30,712, she added.
Lari noted that so far 4,540,455 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country.
She said the high-risk “red” zones include provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Qom, East Azarbaijan, South Khorasan, Semnan, Qazvin, Lorestan, Ardebil, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad, Gilan, Bushehr, Zanjan, Ilam, Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Alborz, West Azarbaijan, Markazi, Kerman, North Khorasan, Hamedan, and Yazd and Kordestan.
The provinces of Hormozgan, Fars, and Golestan are also on alert.