Trump seeks approval of malaria drug for use against coronavirus

Alex Wong  Getty Images

Alex Wong Getty Images

But the FDA says it wants to study the potential of the drug before recommending its use, in part so that patients and their doctors don't waste critical time on a drug that might not work. The patient, who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19, responded well to the drugs combination of Ritonavir and Lopinavir, and his latest test results showed he has tested negative for the virus, a hospital statement said.

Three people in Nigeria also overdosed on the same drug, prompting a warning from state officials there, CNN reported.

Asked Friday - at the same news conference Trump hyped the combo treatment - if hydroxychloroquine could be used to prevent COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, replied "no".

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United States President, Donald Trump, has insisted that chloroquine is effective for the treatment of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).

The therapy protocol instructed by the National Task Force constituted by the ICMR for COVID-19 has been authorised for restricted use in emergency conditions by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI). "So you really can't make any definitive statement about it".

Medical staff treat a CCP virus patient at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on March 19, 2020. Half were given standard care, and the other half received hydroxychloroquine for five days alongside this care.

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They had given standard care to 100 patients, and the HIV-drug combo plus standard care to 99 patients, and found no significant difference between the two groups. It also restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol last month.

The findings seem to be the first from a randomised and, importantly, controlled trial involving hydroxychloroquine. Given the small sample size, medically and scientifically both studies are considered little more than anecdotal.

A survey of various pharmacies in Karachi has revealed that the drug, which is prescribed by family physicians and doctors for the treatment of malaria, is either not available or is being sold at exorbitant rates.

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Trump's endorsement of the drug led to a surge of interest among Nigerians keen to stock up on the medication, which has led to inevitable price hikes in the megacity of around 20 million inhabitants.

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