South Dakota drops drug tests to prevent COVID-19

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota has dropped plans to test an anti-malaria drug to prevent COVID-19.

The statewide tests were called off after a University of Minnesota study found that the drug hydroxychloroquine had no benefit over a placebo as a way to prevent COVID-19 in people exposed to the coronavirus.

The drug hydroxychloroquine has attracted controversy after President Donald Trump promoted it as an antidote to COVID-19, but was shown in studies not to help, and even to be harmful, to people hospitalized by the virus.

Sanford Health, Avera Health and Monument Health were collaborating on the tests, which were sponsored by the state of South Dakota.

The South Dakota trial was in the early stages and had just recently opened for enrollment.