New Brunswick is the first Canadian Province to adopt the therapeutic approach of the Marseille University Hospital and Professor Didier Raoult.
Dr Gabriel Girouard, microbiologist and infectiologist at the Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital in Moncton, was interviewed by Journalist Sophie Durocher.
The interview in French covers all the key elements of the New Brunswick approach, which focuses on early treatment of the disease, as recommended by Professor Raoult and his team.
An interesting feature of the New-Brunswick approach is that patients will be monitored via tele-medicine. So only cases that require it will be hospitalized.
Dr Girouard explains how several committees, including ethical and medical, reached that decision.
He explained that a register of patients has been created, and that the research will rely on the register to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.
He also explained that there wouldn’t be any patients who would be administered placebos – something that he admitted may be polemical.
He explained that medical studies can be conducted in different ways. Yes there are randomized studies, but he considers studies based on retrospective cohorts to have a good value.
« If we prefer waiting randomized controlled studies, it is very possible that the storm will be behind us and that we will be too late. »
« For us, what we have decided looks like the right thing to do, if we use our judgement of medical doctor, of clinical specialist. »
He is fully aware that many jurisdictions, associations, groups, universities are doing randomized studies.
« Our study takes a different form. It’s a register of patients. All patients will be treated and we will monitor them. Yes it’s a study of the effects of hydroxychloroquine, but here, we will not have a placebo group. »
The audio of the interview in French, and the article by Véronique Racine, also in French, can be found at this link.
Asked why New Brunswick was the first province to adopt the treatment, Dr Girouard said he did not necessarily have a good explanation, but he suggested that the fact that New-Brunswick is a small province helped.
Currently, in the other Canadian provinces, hydroxychloroquine based treatment is not available to those suffering from COVID-19, with a few exceptions, such as randomized research trials conducted by universities.
For certain, we will monitor this and provide more details when they become available.
In first analysis, New-Brunswick is doing exactly the right thing.
Let’s see how the other provinces as well as the federal government will react to the New Brunswick announcement.