FDA Looking Into Anti-Malaria Drug Chloroquine to Treat Coronavirus: Commissioner

Date: 2020-03-19 16:37:15

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The Food and Drug Administration’s Commissioner says they are looking at everything to help treat the novel coronavirus. #Coronavirus #Covid19 #Chloroquine #Malaria

“We need to make sure that these… the sea of new treatments will get the right drug to the right patient at the right dosage, at the right time,” said Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.

“It’s really important we have these dedicated professionals looking at these aspects of therapeutic development. At the same time, we’re also working through different mechanisms to actually get drugs into the hands of providers and patients.”

Hahn described several approaches under testing, such as chloroquine, a drug long used to treat malaria; remdesivir, an experimental antiviral that’s being tried in at least five separate experiments, and possibly antibodies culled from the blood of COVID-19 patients after they recover. But no new and imminent treatment was announced.

Chloroquine is widely available now and could be used off-label, but Hahn said officials want a formal study to get good information on safety and effectiveness.

This comes as the confirmed cases in the U.S. draws close to 11,000 and 150 deaths.

Vice President Mike Pence says more and more testing is becoming available nationwide, along with making sure there are enough masks for healthcare workers and ventilators.

Pence also said he and President Donald Trump will hold a conference call with governors from around the country later Thursday afternoon.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms.

But for the elderly and people with existing conditions, it can cause more severe illness. The vast majority of those who are infected recover.

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