Robust scientific studies on convalescent plasma, a potentially promising COVID-19 treatment, have gotten off to a slow start in the U.S., in part because some researchers were more focused on enrolling their sickest patients in other trials, including some for hydroxychloroquine.
"You always have that hindsight and say, oh man, we should have put our efforts into something else," said Dr. Todd Rice, an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Early on in the pandemic, Vanderbilt was involved in multiple clinical trials, including those on remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine. Even though the hospital system had also developed a randomized, placebo-controlled trial for convalescent plasma, Rice said, the other trials took priority.
While remdesivir was found to be beneficial to patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, a number of large clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine ultimately failed to show any benefit.