Now that France has approved Hydroxychloroquine after Prof Raoult’s second test, it is helpful to go back and roll the tape. We need to understand why we are where we are now, over a month after China — which, unsurprisingly, did a lot of the early work on Covid-19 that we are all relying on now — published information on promising drugs.
Here is Clinical Trials Arena, February 18th:
18 February 2020 News
Coronavirus: Chloroquine yields positive data in Covid-19 trial
Early data from clinical trials being performed in China has revealed that chloroquine phosphate could help treat the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19.
China National Center for Biotechnology Development deputy head Sun Yanrong said that chloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, was selected after several screening rounds of thousands of existing drugs.
Xinhua reported that the drug is undergoing clinical trials in more than ten hospitals in Beijing, Guangdong province, and Hunan province . . . .
Data from the drug’s studies showed ‘certain curative effect’ with ‘fairly good efficacy’.
According to Sun, patients treated with chloroquine demonstrated a better drop in fever, improvement of lung CT images, and required a shorter time to recover compared to parallel groups.
The percentage of patients with negative viral nucleic acid tests was also higher with the anti-malarial drug.
Chloroquine has so far showed no obvious serious adverse reactions in the more than 100 participants in the trials.
The China National Center for Biotechnology Development head Zhang Xinmin said that chloroquine is one of the three drugs that have a promising profile against the new coronavirus, reported China Daily.
The remaining two drugs are anti-flu medicine favipiravir and Gilead’s investigational anti-viral candidate remdesivir . . .
The list is familiar.
And, a 100+ patient trial by a country with a fairly serious medical and academic infrastructure . . . never mind, issues about a totalitarian, Communist regime and fairly ugly police state tactics . . . should not be sneezed at or taken lightly. Certainly, that is a tad more than dismissively “anecdotal.” Yes, we want to move to replication to confirm reliability and will wish to apply peer reviews, but that is already a significant result.
Fair comment: the recent media party-line is immediately unjustifiable and irresponsible.
Where, yes, Chloroquine is indubitably prone to damaging side effects [usually due to long term use] and can be lethal if an overdose is taken. A classic phrase is, “pharmacology is the study of poisons in small doses.”
All that such means, is that amateur self-doctoring is ill advised. The man who killed himself with fish tank cleaner should have known better.
We can set aside these and other distractors and focus the key point: by February 18th, serious information in answer to a then threatened global pandemic was released by officials of the country at ground zero. The MEDIA response in the six weeks since then was irresponsible. That needs to be faced. END
F/N: BREAKING — FDA Emergency use authorisation announced:
FDA authorizes emergency use of anti-malarial drug touted by Trump on COVID-19 patients
Patients would be given the option to take hydroxychloroquine sulfate or chloroquine phosphate, which are still undergoing clinical trials.
Author: Travis Pittman (TEGNA), Associated Press Published: 6:05 AM CDT March 30, 2020 Updated: 6:08 AM CDT March 30, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for two anti-malarial drugs on coronavirus patients which President Donald Trump has touted as potential game-changers. Experts have warned the drugs have only anecdotal evidence in treating COVID-19 and the drugs are not yet approved by the FDA as a treatment.
The EUA allows hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate that have been donated to the Strategic National Stockpile “to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That would mean patients who are at least 110 pounds, according to the FDA fact sheets . . . .
HHS issued a press release Sunday saying it has accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate from Sandoz and 1 million doses of chloroquine phosphate from Bayer to go to the Strategic National Stockpile. HHS says the drugs are available for the possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials . . .
We need to now have a very different conversation.