Coronavirus

Trump Suggests Anti-Malarial Drug Chloroquine Is an Effective Treatment Against COVID-19

FDA is reportedly cutting red tape to give expanded access to COVID-19 patients.

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President Donald Trump at a White House press conference today said that using the anti-malarial drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus has "been approved" by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and would be available "almost immediately."

However, at the same press conference, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn cautioned, "That's a drug that the president has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done and to actually see if that benefits patients. And again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information." Hahn added, "What's also important is not to provide false hope. We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good."

Nevertheless, the FDA is reportedly considering giving chloroquine and the anti-viral drug remdesivir to larger populations of coronavirus patients as part of an "expanded use" testing program. The FDA typically grants expanded access in cases in which a patient has a serious disease or condition, or their life is immediately threatened by their disease or condition, and there is no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy to diagnose, monitor, or treat the disease or condition. Kudos to Trump for pushing the FDA to cut through red tape in this way.

It would be tremendously good news if chloroquine turns out to be really effective in treating COVID-19. In the midst of the pandemic, researchers around the world have been trying to repurpose a wide variety of old, already approved drugs as COVID-19 treatments.

One of the more hopeful preliminary results used hydroxychloroquine (an analog of chloroquine) along with the antibiotic azithromycin to treat COVID-19. The small trial was reported by a team of French physicians and will be published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. The researchers found that "hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin." It is very important to keep in mind that this trial involved treating only 20 patients with hydroxychloroquine. The results need to be checked against a much larger cohort of patients.

Since most antibiotics do not work against viruses, why was azithromycin used to treat some of the patients? Earlier in vitro research suggested that the antibiotic induces anti-viral activity against some respiratory viruses. The French researchers also note that "azithromycin has been shown to be active in vitro against Zika and Ebola viruses and to prevent severe respiratory tract infections when administrated to patients suffering viral infection." Some COVID-19 patients do apparently contract a secondary bacterial pneumonia infection.

Apparently, Chinese researchers and public health officials are rapidly adopting chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 infections. Physicians and researchers in the U.S. could use the dosing benchmarks set by Chinese researchers as a starting point for providing treatments to American COVID-19 patients.

As I have long argued, the FDA should be modernized so that new treatments become available to patients once they have made it through Phase II safety testing. Patients who choose the new treatments would essentially be enrolled in Phase III efficacy trials. Since chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are old medicines that are generally safe and well-tolerated, what better time to adopt such a plan than during a pandemic that is shutting down huge swathes of our economy?

Assuming that these treatments work and substantially beat back the growing epidemic, researchers and public health officials must be on guard against the virus mutating to become resistant to these drugs.

Even as expanded use rolls out, it is vital to keep in mind FDA Commissioner Hahn's warning that chloroquine and remdesivir treatments to cure COVID-19 could still turn out to be a false hope.

NEXT: Maine Voters Supported Removing Religious/Philosophical Exemptions to Immunization Mandate, 73%-27% on March 3

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  1. Kudos to Trump for pushing the FDA to cut through red tape in this way.

    I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to call him irresponsible for this.

    1. And he didn’t push the FDA to do anything. He used his authority as President to waive the regulations and ordered them to do it. Bailey’s use of the verb “push” if curious to put it mildly.

      President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has directed Federal Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn to waive “outdated rules and bureaucracies” on the testing of various “anti-viral therapies” to combat coronavirus.

      http://dailycaller.com/2020/03/19/trump-coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-cure-anti-viral-therapies/

      This is what happened put in clear language.

      1. LOL….no surprise Unreason writers try to subtly distort what POTUS Trump actually did.

      2. Push: “to forcefully persuade or direct someone to do or achieve something”

        1. So use “directed” , it has none of the extra connotations and is more accurate.

          You know what John is criticizing and your response shows you also know he has a point.

          1. Look, when you’ve got a narrative to push you can’t get caught up in the details of whether you’re pushing the narrative or directing it.

        2. Listen, Mr. Bailey….We appreciate the engagement. But your bias is showing through your writing. Other than that, I like the articles that show how bureaucratic hurdles are simply set aside. We need more of that.

          More ‘sciencey’ stuff would be nice. There is a bunch of study data on the CDC.gov website. Talk to Readership about it. There are good nuggets of information.

          1. I disagree here. The word push seemed appropriate. Federal regulators don’t bend easily to the will of even the president. And I don’t see “push” being used negatively here, especially in a sentence praising him for the action.

            1. The semantic difference matters.

            2. He was not persuading, he was ordering. Difference.

              1. Nice to see that someone get this, good job

        3. Trump didn’t “suggest” that the anti malarial drug is effective, he based his decision on scientific recommendations.

          Your headline is misleading and manipulative. Is your anti Trump bias so ingrained that you don’t even realize it? Or do you think that manipulation is justified in pursuit of a bigger goal? Either way, you’re not getting away with it.

      3. And he didn’t push the FDA to do anything.

        Look at the title John. CNBC’s coverage was more reasonable (drink) and Reason apparently decided they didn’t go full-retard enough.

        1. Reason: Trump Suggests Anti-Malarial Drug Chloroquine Is an Effective Treatment Against COVID-19

          CNBC: Trump directs FDA to examine whether malaria drug can be used for coronavirus

          Also CNBC (two sentences below the headline): Some scientists have said the anti-malaria drug chloroquine could be a treatment for the coronavirus.

          So, some scientists suggested it, Trump told the FDA to look into it, and Reason plays that as “Trump suggests chloroquine treats corona virus effectively.”

          1. Actually, doctors who were conducting or involved with trials of those drugs in fighting coronavirus said they were having remarkable results, so the President told the FDA to fast-track their testing process as quickly as could safely be achieved.

            So “Trump” didn’t decide chloroquine was effective, and the FDA did not decide to cut red tape. The President was informed by doctors that it was promising and directed the FDA to do what they could to fast track testing. He also assigned another drug (a retroviral) for “compassionate use”, also based off of doctor’s feedback.

            This bullshit about portraying this as all about President Trump making impulsive decisions on a whim, while only giving credit to the agencies he oversees (and never him) for their actions needs to stop.

            1. But chloroquine’s already marketed. FDA doesn’t have to do anything, if availability’s the issue.

              1. i would like to mention that chloroquine’s available at India-based pharmacies that sell generic viagra. It is very inexpensive and widely available in India (naturally). i only bring this up in case that things go sideways and a useful medication suddenly becomes difficult to obtain. i am by no means recommending that anyone order 90 pills for ten bucks, just to be prepared.

              2. But chloroquine’s already marketed. FDA doesn’t have to do anything, if availability’s the issue.

                Not true. Not to defend the policies in place but factually, COVID-19 treatment would be off-label and the doctor could be held liable for any adverse effects of a/the off-label treatment. There are also healthcare and insurance costs reasons that the FDA needs to approve the medication/treatment for the given purpose. Again, not saying I agree with the laws, just that there are reasons why the FDA can’t just sit around saying “We already approved it.”

        2. Never go full retard

      4. Yeah and it looks like the FDA is still trying to drag their feet. But it won’t work, because the drug is already approved for several uses, so as soon as it’s in the pharmacies, patients will be demanding it and doctors will prescribe it.

        I’ve already locked up a stash of it for my family, The HydroxyCloroquine version that’s less toxic, that they have been using in South Korea.

      5. If it wasn’t for Trump we would still be waiting for the CDC & FDA to allow testing by others than themselves. But Trump bad

    2. If they give Trump credit for this and blame for the testing snafu, any sane person would think that reasonable. Trumpistas will be barging in at any moment to deny that. He gets credit for all sorts of things he had no hand in, that’s ok; but blame? Never!

      New meaning to the phrase “Never Trump”. We just didn’t see the verb.

      1. Right but you told us you want to eat shit and murder babies.

        1. Wait, what? I’m Trump’s sock now? And Old Mex’s sock? Are you suggesting Trump is Old Mex?

          Sacrilege!

          1. Right but you told us you want to eat shit and murder babies

            1. Folks, you may think $parcasmic is lying or exaggerating here. Unfortunately he’s not.

      2. I missed where Trump ordered the CDC or FDA to create their own tests while ignoring private companies who may want to get into the testing. Can you link to that story?

        Thanks.

      3. You must have that cite. I mean you wouldnt make a bald assertion based solely out of the hate you have would you?

      4. The federal bureaucracy is responsible for both the testing snafus and drug approval delays. Trump is trying to fix that.

    3. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to call him irresponsible for this.

      The Reason B-team hasn’t weighed in yet.

      1. Incorrect

        Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf
        March.19.2020 at 3:34 pm
        ^

    4. This all nonsense….Simple Mega-Doses of Oxygen via oxygen tanks kills the virus swiftly!

    5. “Irresponsible”?

      Meh. If we can’t get to “literally Hitler” I’m not interested.

      Haha.

    6. “I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to call him irresponsible for this.”

      #LibertariansAgainstHealthFreedom

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767122/

    Macrolides, inflammation and the lung microbiome: untangling the web of causality

    azithromycin is commonly used for anti-inflammatory effects in pulmonary critical care.

  3. The Pres likes to brainstorm in public, and this otherwise endearing attribute may lead him to put his foot in it with an evolving public-health situation.

    But who knows?

    1. The Pres likes to brainstorm in public, and this otherwise endearing attribute may lead him to put his foot in it with an evolving public-health situation.

      You’ve fallen for Reason’s bullshit. The President wasn’t brain storming. There are doctors in Korea looking at it. They’ve communicated with doctors on Trump’s staff who suggested that it be looked into. Trump told the FDA and/or CDC to look into it.

      Trump playing doctor from the oval office is Reason’s narrative, not the facts.

      1. There are doctors in Korea looking at it.

        And China, and France. All of them are saying it’s been extremely promising in terms of results. A Stanford doctor familiar with the testing was on Tucker Carlson’s and Stuart Varney’s shows explaining what they’re seeing.

          1. The only mainstream news outlet you can remotely trust.

      2. Doctors aren’t just “looking at it”. They’ve used it and are publishing papers on effectiveness. Looks effective.

        The FDA apparatchiks should have some clinical trials on fucking themselves with rusty pipes.

  4. So you’re saying Trump’s trying to give us all malaria? I must go post this on my Facebook page immediately!

  5. I will up my gin and tonic consumption, you know to combat the carona virus. As luck would have it Hendricks just came out with a limited edition version that is delicious in a g&t. It’s called midsummer solstice, mix that with Tonic and add a slice of cucumber and a dash of bitters.

    1. Rev: Hendricks, IMHO, should be reserved for extra dry martinis, preferably with olives. Use Bombay or Junipero for G&Ts. Just saying.

      1. De gustibus non est disputandum

      2. Normal Hendricks I agree dry martini only but the midsummer one doesn’t have enough punch on its own,
        Bombay (regular not that sapphire crap) is good in a martini too.
        I wish quintessential gin was still around that stuff was the best

        1. Newbies. Tanqueray® or nothing.

    2. So you’re the guy hoarding gin. All that’s left on the shelf is some mass-produced IPAs.

      1. Not hoarding, just prepping for the carona virus… For the last 15 years.

        1. That’s how Trump spells it, too.

          Illiterate clingers need to stick together in a time like this, I suppose.

          1. “Illiterate clingers need to stick together in a time like this, I suppose.”

            this is the rev’s ungraceful way of saying he found a friend

          2. Poor Rev.

            Trump spells it W U H A N, as do most Americans. It sounds like a Mongolian battle cry if pronounced correctly.

          3. Your alter ego is so much more entertaining. He at least has the virtue of coming up with original material. You…not so much.

    3. You are so much better than that other poser who calls himself a reverend. 🙂

  6. Has anyone put together an official Reason Coronavirus playlist?

    If not, I’ll start:

    Disturbed – Down With The Sickness
    Graham Parker – Lady Doctor
    Webb Wilder – Slow Death
    Johnny Rivers – Rockin Pneumonia/Boogie Woogie Flu

    1. Doctor Wu – Steely Dan, one of my personal favorites.

      1. Doctor Doctor – UFO, one of mine.

        1. Doctor Doctor the Thompson Twins also

        2. Doctor Doctor —also a Robert Palmer song

    2. Huey Louis and the news “I wanna new drug”
      The misfits “hate the living love the dead”
      Queen “the show must go on”

      1. A better Queen selection would be “Keep Yourself Alive”

      2. Huey Louis and the News “I wanna new drug”

        Good in a medley with Bon Jovi’s “Your Love Is Like Bad Medicine”

    3. I’m not familiar with that particular song, but I am thrilled to see that somebody here knows about Webb Wilder.

      1. +1 Human Cannonball

    4. Battleflag — Lo Fidelity Allstars

    5. Bon Jovie – Bad Medicine
      The Cars – You Might Think
      Train – 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
      Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

    6. phish: down with disease.

      1. killing joke: i am the virus.

      2. Jethro Tull – Doctor to my Disease

        1. love Tull. people are literally scolding the xm29 phish channel dj for playing Down With Disease they were voting on whether to pull it

    7. Genesis: a Visit to the Doktor

      1. You ain’t seen nothing yet, by BTO

    8. The proper playlist has to be set in the proper order, from beginning to end.

      Killer Inside – Better Than Ezra
      Burning Down The House – Talking Heads
      Runaway – Jefferson Starship
      We’re All Alone – Boz Scaggs
      Famous Final Scene – Bob Seger
      All You Zombies – The Hooters

      1. Zombies! Dude I have the Amore cassette still.

      2. Burning Down The House – Talking Heads

        That’s what the stock market has felt like, daily for the past month.

    9. I’ll add an obscurish title.

      Blancmange – Don’t Tell Me

      (been stuck in my head for the past few days, get it out)

    10. Dire Straits – Industrial Disease

    11. DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat

      1. And nobody brought up the rascals yet?

        Good lovin’

        I said Doctor (Doctor)
        Mister MD (doctor)
        Tell me What’s ailin’ me…

        He said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
        (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
        Yes, indeed, all you really need . . .
        (Is good lovin’)
        Gimme that good, good lovin . . .
        (Good lovin’)
        All I need is lovin’ …

  7. Most likely, Pres. Trump’s statements in this regard were exaggertions or falsehoods deriving from something

    (1) stated by a Fox News yahoo or

    (2) mentioned by a comics titan or casino tycoon in a dinner chat or late night call with Trump.

    Clingers will be quite excited by this, however.

    1. There are days when I wish you were within nut-kicking range. (Basically, those that end in “y”.)

      1. The rev is a boring parody. Not worth the nut kicking effort.

    2. Well, obviously, that’s what a scientifically illiterate, uninformed person would believe.

  8. Do the bio weapon engineers who funded and designed this already have a vaccine, but not wanting to be exposed are waiting for one to be developed”

    “this precise area of coronavirus study involving spike protein and cell surface receptor was the focus of Prof. Zhengli’s contemporaneous December 2019 study published the day before the epidemic started. “Coronavirus spike protein mediates viral entry into cells by first binding to a receptor on host cell surface and then fusing viral and host membranes,” she wrote. Why would she feign ignorance about this?

    Even more concerning, on October 31, 2019, Prof. Zhengli had published a report entitled Filovirus-reactive antibodies in humans and bats in Northeast India imply zoonotic spillover, curiously funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the U.S. Biological Defense Research Directorate of the Naval Medical Research Center, and the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India, and edited by a microbiologist employed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control.“

    1. Sorry, but why is any of that surprising? Coronaviruses are known to cause disease in humans (cf. the common cold, SARS, MERS…). It makes sense to learn about it before a pandemic happens so we are more prepared.

        1. Given that there are already a number of drugs available to enter trials (some of which with research on SARS and MERS), yes.

      1. You’re also right that we shouldn’t be surprised that a us funded bio weapon developed in conjunction with communist China was released killing thousands, so far.

        1. So… uh… pro- or anti- free trade?

          1. MC, this is “Reason”. So…pro or anti-illegal immigrant?

        2. You’ve got me confused, stormfag. How do the jews fit into this conspiracy theory of yours?

          1. Snort.

            Gain of function analysis is not making a bioweapon. We used to do it, even after the 1972 treaty. Though it’s sufficiently dangerous that Congress, in 2016 IIRC, told American doctors to knock that shit off after the 2015 paper in Nature Reviews about zoonotic potential in bat coronaviruses.

            The Chinese evidently knew better, with their shiny new BSL-IV lab. Despite fucking up twice before with letting the original SARS coronavirus out near Beijing.

            No convoluted conspiracy theory is needed. Just chabuduo and Chinese scientists continuing to do what they’d always done up to that point.

            1. You agree that it is an engineered virus, not naturally occurring in the nearby “seafood market”, and that the US funded it’s development.

              That’s what I said. I don’t hear any MSM saying it.

              What’s next, funding ISIS nuclear weapons?

              1. I don’t agree that the US funded it’s development at all. This is the sort of virology research that a lot of countries and their researchers would be doing, especially on a group of viruses thought to have one of their number mutate to a human pathogen in the future. US cash is not necessary.

                That said, there is the Harvard department head who is having the Feds crawl up his ass for not disclosing his research contracts with China. There’s the Canadian virus samples and Chinese researcher who got dismissed from her position at a Canadian institution, allegedly over misappropriation of biological information/samples.

                I also don’t agree that a vaccine was at hand for this bug. Bugs you can vaccinate against, aren’t usually studied in BSL-IV labs.

                I think the stupid fuckers had an accident, and let a newly zoonotic, novel human pathogenic virus out of a secure environment. Reasons why obfuscation is happening, denial that “China was working on a weapon”, things like that, should be obvious.

                1. There is no denying that the head researcher working to develop this at the Wuhan P4 lab received millions in US defence grants.

                  Now it’s a pandemic. Own it.

          2. You get so scaredy thinking about your false narrative.

            Why do you think Jews have to be involved in every conspiracy?

        3. Misek is a holocaust denier. Why would we listen to one fucking word this asshole has to say?

          1. There’s that too.

            Argue whether it was 5 or 7 million dead Jews, debate how the Germans got rid of more bodies per day than the capacity of their crematoria (they burned people in pits too), and point out that some of the dead were cynically added to the total through Allied fuckups dealing with millions of starving DPs, or outright Soviet murders: but to deny the reality of the Holocaust is proof of a diseased mind. I mean: just where the fuck did those people go, if not up the chimney?

            I’ll never understand it. I don’t want to be able to.

            1. “ I’ll never understand it. I don’t want to be able to.”

              Bigotry is a self fulfilling prophecy. You’ll never consider the evidence because you don’t want to. When you can so easily apply that to one issue, it must get easier for others.

              Fuck off bigot.

              Examples of bigotry in a Sentence
              “ a deeply ingrained bigotry prevented her from even considering the counterarguments”

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigotry

    2. “Do the bio weapon engineers who funded and designed this already have a vaccine,..”

      We’ve already got scumbag bigot and general stupidity; we get to add conspiracy ignoramus.
      Pathetic is a compliment to shitstain here.

    3. It’s nice to see you haven’t just let Hihn have title of craziest poster here without a fight.

      1. You can fight for that title all you want.

  9. Funny.

    Trump did not do anything.

    Chloroquine is already an FDA approved drug. As such there is nothing to prevent the medical establishment from off label uses. Never has been. The FDA has already been looking at clinical trials underway using it as an adjunct therapy along with other antivirals and antibiotics.

    1. The problem is that if it’s not approved for an off-label use and it’s applied to that, there are liability and insurance issues. And there are possibly unforeseen complications, particularly if the drug is administered in conjunction with other drugs they haven’t tested for interactions with chloroquine.

      He just fast-tracked the testing process for the FDA via executive order and the FDA is now looking at it. He did do something, and it’s positive, but it’s nothing particularly risky or impulsive or earth-shattering. He just did what good executives do when their people tell them they have a potential solution…take responsibility and enable their people to do their jobs.

      1. Off label drug use is common and accepted. Look up lidocaine, aspirin, gabapentin, Clonidine, cannot list them all.

        He did not do anything not already happening.

        Golf clap to the prez.

        1. What are the liability concerns for an off-label use of a drug that has the side effects CQ and hydroxy-CQ do? Doubt they’re insignificant. Plus, I thought insurance didn’t normally reimburse on off-label use?

          I’m glad Trump is cutting red tape. N was only 20 in that French study, but this cocktail looks like it may reduce severity in the worst cases.

          1. Insurance often doesn’t reimburse. Viagra is an example of that…insurance reimbursement is only for the use of Viagra as a heart medication (its original purpose). If you’re using it for ED (which was a side effect they discovered during testing), you pay out of pocket because it’s considered elective. I think that might also apply to some issues resulting from its use for ED, if you have complications (but not sure).

        2. Off label drug use is common and accepted.

          Partly true. It really depends on the side effect profile of the drug in question whether off-label use is common and accepted. There has to be efficacy data after a time to continue off-label use.

          POTUS Trump gets props for clearing away the bureaucratic underbrush.

          1. And some of the side effects of chloroquine can be severe, including vision and liver problems. Plus, if you mix them with other drugs in the treatment (which is recommended with Covid-19 from what I’ve seen), you don’t know what might result. They definitely need to test when it comes to new applications.

            That said, if it’s getting the results they’re saying, I’m pretty sure most are willing to risk the side effects. And it’s still very good news.

      2. But how did he know to suggest this?

        He may well be brighter than people (and all those tweets) give him credit for, but I never would have imagined the man had a very deep knowledge of pharmacology.

      3. i would just like to mention, without recommending or advocating anything at all, and absolutely not advising anyone to break any law, that chloro quinine is available at India pharmacies that mostly operate selling generic viagra. It is extremely inexpensive, because it is a widespread medication used in India for malaria. 90 pills sell for about $10 (!). i wish viagra was so cheap! i don’t advocate this. i’m not a woodchipper hero. i just thought you should know.

  10. I didn’t notice anyone taking a whack at the headline writer – and that headline deserves a whack.

    Trump isn’t suggesting anything. He’s repeating apparently credible research and issuing directives to cut through red tape and find out if there’s anything to it.

    That headline makes it sound like Trump is MSU.

    Which, btw, this potential treatment sounds like. MSU. I can’t think of any reason why it would work. But there ya go – apparently it is having some affect, according to early results. That’s why you do the research. Hopefully the new studies are well designed. China is notorious for badly designed clinical studies. And we really don’t have time to waste on a placebo, even if it is a cheap placebo.

    1. Apparently they were testing it for SARS (which is also a coronavirus) some time ago, but the SARS epidemic finished and the testing got dropped for other priorities. The Chinese and French were both testing it and both said it showed extremely promising results…you just never know, sometimes the solution is actually more simple than you think.

      They said the remdesavir is also showing some promise, but they’re only cautiously optimistic because they tested it against Ebola some time ago and it failed those trials.

      1. And the thing about Chloroquine is that people already take it prophylacticly for weeks at a time. So presumably it is safe enough for that…. and it is cheap as dirt.

        Which makes one wonder… why not just go ahead and take it immediately for the next couple of months if you are at risk?

        Maybe the dosage is much higher for Coronavirus?

        1. The risk of serious side effects from Chloroquine is comparable to the risk from serious corona virus infection (both are very low for the general population). It probably also doesn’t prevent infection or spread and just reduces symptoms. And cheap as it is, there aren’t endless supplies. So, it makes sense to try it in sick patients first and primarily use it as a treatment.

          1. They’re saying that it is showing promise as a prophylactic for coronavirus. They use it as a malaria prophylactic in Africa and some other regions, and they noted that in areas where chloroquine is being prescribed for malaria, you’re seeing markedly few coronavirus infections.

            It’s correlational evidence at this point of course, but promising.

    2. South Korea has apparently seen positive results with this drug, but I believe that is only with in vitro testing. They were going to start human tests in May, but it would seem to make sense to start them now. I am glad Trump is authorizing that – however much I may dislike him as a person, he does sometimes do the right thing. But aren’t doctors allowed to prescribe drugs “off label” anyway, so couldn’t some doctor prescribe it for this coronavirus without special FDA approval?

      1. No, they treated people.

    3. That headline makes it sound like Trump is MSU.

      Reason need to keep the OMB (Orange Man Bad) propaganda going, otherwise they lose their Koch funding.

    4. “I can’t think of any reason why it would work.”
      Zinc.

      How would this be wasting time? There are patients who are currently receiving minimal pharmacological care. What’s the harm, or time-waste in trying this?

    5. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are gates that allow zinc ion to transport through the cell membrane into a cell. Once zinc ion can get inside a cell, it stops the action of a key protein that viruses create and then use to replicate their RNA to spread out and infect other cells.

      A nice overview is in the 17-minute video “MedCram Coronavirus Epidemic Update 34”:
      youtube .com/watch?v=U7F1cnWup9M

  11. What’s also important is not to provide false hope.

    Why? You people at the FDA keep peddling false fears. It seems false hope is a reasonable remedy for false fears.

  12. Can som3eone here explain what “expanded acess” means in this case? Chloroquine’s a marketed drug. Is this just a change in labeling? What would that have to do with access? It can simply be prescribed and dispensed off-label.

  13. In case Ronald Bailey reads further down the comments, I’d like to speak up in appreciation for the core of his coverage. We’re in ongoing life-and-death struggles to get tests, therapies, and vaccines past the FDA to patients, and the direct quotes of Trump and the FDA are highly-relevant details.

    If Mr. Bailey can get revved up to cover more, it would be excellent to also include more background info.

    As background info on this bureaucratic death match, Congresses and presidents have never properly legislated what testing is required to demonstrate safety and efficacy, FDA people have made efficacy no more stringent than whatever minimal criteria that the producers’ people themselves or the clinicians themselves specify, nevertheless FDA people have kept moving the finish gates farther out, and off-label prescribing is widespread and quite valuable at providing new therapies.

    As background info on the science, it would be relevant to explain that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine both act by transporting zinc ion into cells where zinc ion stops the virus from hijacking the cell’s nutrients to replicate itself, that both medicines can lengthen the QT portion of the heartbeat control signal which if carried to an extreme can not only reduce heart rate but cause the heart to stop, and that hydroxychloroquine is tolerated better than chloroquine.

    1. Thank you for that James Anthony.

      Great posts.

      1. You’re welcome, Echospinner. Reason people have sound understanding of economics, bureaucracy, and science. I’d love to see them include in their work their best shots at background, recommendations, and supporting explanations that can guide and empower representatives who listen.

    2. In case Ronald Bailey reads further down the comments, I’d like to speak up in appreciation for the core of his coverage.

      At issue is the tendentious language in his articles, which has no place in a news organization. That is, readers shouldn’t have to use their spider sense to determine which parts of an article refer to “core truths” and which parts of an article are trying to manipulate you.

      1. Hahaha. Because nothing models ‘how to not be tendentious with your language’ like the comments of the snowflakes here who get triggered into spouting R talking points.

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  15. I honestly hope it works, but I lost all faith in the FDA when they ran an undercover sting operation to identify and arrest Amish who were selling raw milk to Birkenstock-wearing granola types.

    That was ten or twelve years ago. I would have immediately disbanded the agency. Some things are so stupid that they cannot be forgiven.

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  17. The problem with chloroquine is that it can kill an adult at just twice the daily dose. In addition to that, even at prescribed doses, it has serious side effects from longer-term use, like permanent vision impairment and organ damage. So even if it does work, it presents some real challenges.

    I’ve heard of doctors prescribing a “Z-Pak” for the flu before. Isn’t that just azithromycin?

    1. There is weak evidence that macrolide antibiotics can induce an antiviral response in respiratory infections. So it is often prescribed.

      You are correct chloroquine has a narrow therapeutic window.

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