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500 Patients in PH to Undergo Clinical Trials for COVID-19 Cure

The Philippines is one of 100 countries participating in the experiments.
by Mario Alvaro Limos
Apr 23, 2020
Photo/s: US Centers of Disease Control

At least 500 Filipino patients will participate in clinical trials in search for cure to COVID-19. The Department of the Health said the trials are part of the experiments led by the World Health Organization in searching for a viable cure for COVID-19.

“Initially, 500 patients are included in the trial that will happen in 20 hospitals here in the Philippines,” said health secretary Francisco Duque.

The WHO-led clinical trials, dubbed as Solidarity Trials, is participated in by 100 countries. Its aim is to determine whether several types of drugs are effective against COVID-19. These drugs are the following:

  • remdesivir – A type of antiviral drug
  • lopinavir and ritonavir combined – A combination of drugs for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS
  • two drugs plus interferon beta – A drug used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis
  • chloroquine – A drug used to treat malaria

In the Philippines, participants in the clinical trials will come from the following hospitals:

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  • Philippine General Hospital
  • The Medical City
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
  • Baguio General Hospital
  • East Avenue Medical Center
  • Makati Medica Center
  • Luke’s Medical Center Global
  • Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City
  • University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center
  • Cardinal Santos Medical Center
  • Manila Doctors Hospital
  • Manila Medical Center
  • Chinese General Hospital
  • San Juan de Dios Medical Center
  • Diliman Doctors Hospital
  • University of Santo Tomas Hospital
  • Vicente Sotto Medical Center
  • Southern Philippine Medical Center
  • World Citi Medical Center

Potential Risks of Participating in COVID-19 Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a type of test or experiment done on people to study the effectiveness of certain treatments or drugs in curing a disease.

When you participate in a clinical trial, a hospital may significantly lower the cost of your treatment and services you avail. However, participating has serious risks. 

You may not be able to choose which experimental treatment you will get, especially in randomized trials. A double-blinded trial means neither you nor the doctors know what treatment or drugs are being used.

There are cases in which experimental treatments do not work on the patient, or worse, cause severe side effects. Participants in a clinical trial will also be monitored more frequently.

Your insurance company may not be able to cover the cost of your hospitalization if you are harmed in the course of your participation in a clinical trial.

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