The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed the unusual guidance from its website informing doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine drugs as they were initially recommended to treat the coronavirus by President Donald Trump.
Doctors and other health experts have criticized the guidance as suggesting that doctors might prescribe the medications when it isn’t established whether or not they are effective or harmful.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are currently under study for possible treatments for COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus. But for this particular use, FDA has not yet approved these drugs. Currently, hydroxychloroquine is used to treat lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also used to prevent and treat malaria.
Reuters reported that the original guidance was crafted by the CDC after President Trump personally pressed federal regulatory and health officials to make the malaria drugs more widely available to treat the novel coronavirus. Even though the drugs in question had been untested for COVID-19.
There are a lot of questions being raised on why is the President promoting the medicine when the medical agencies have not approved yet. Recently he also pressurised India, the biggest manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine, to release the drug and if not done, he warned of “retaliation.”
Though experts have not yet approved of the drug or any federal agencies have not given their green signal, there are some reasons why the drug is being talked about most.
Sixty-five per cent physicians across the United States said they would prescribe the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19 in a family member, according to a new survey released by Jackson & Coker, one of the country’s largest physician staffing firms.
Only 11 per cent said they would not use the drug at all.
Meanwhile, 30 per cent of the surveyed doctors said they would prescribe the medications to a family member prior to the onset of symptoms if they had been exposed to COVID-19, a highly contagious virus that causes a pneumonia-like infection of the lungs.
“Working in healthcare, we’ve learned the best way to get a candid perspective on treatment options from a physician is to ask: ‘Would you give this to your family?'” said Tim Fischer, President of Jackson & Coker. “Families across the U.S. – and the world really – want to know what they can do to protect and save their loved ones.”
With over 4 lakh positive cases of COVID19, approved or not, the US is using and looks like will continue to prescribe hydroxychloroquine for the new coronavirus.