The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of two anti-malaria drugs to treat patients infected by the new coronavirus.
On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that chloroquineand hydroxychloroquine could be prescribed to teens and adults with COVID-19 "as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible," after the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization. (EUA) That marked the first EUA for a drug related to COVID-19 in the U.S., according to the statement.
Currently, there are no specific drugs for COVID-19 which, as shown in the Statista graph below (accurate as of March 26), has sickened over half a million people. According to Johns Hopkins University, over 720,000 cases have been confirmed, more than 34,000 people have died, and over 152,000 have recovered since the pandemic started in China late last year.
Talking Ed Note: In a briefing to the nation and media, President Trump more than a week ago announced optimism for the combination therapy. The announcement was met with ridicule and attacks by his media and political critics.
Nevertheless, in New York City, 1100 patients are on the regimen welcomed by the NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.
A French lab study showed 100% resolution using the combination therapy seeing global attention and Italy announced it has begun using the approach on its pandemic. France announced it will allow the drug therapy as well.
A Monroe, NY physician, Dr. Zelenko announced initial findings among hundreds of cases he's handled for the coronavirus adding zinc to the combination therapy as a mechanism coupled with hydroxychlorquine to help enter the cell and beat back virus replication. In doing so, he's reported no deaths and only several hospital admissions with well over 400 patients. He's emphasizing early treatment before the onset of lung and respiratory damage.
Bayer and an Israeli firm, Teva Pharmaceutical have donated millions of doses of hydroxychlorquine to the United States and many companies are ramping up production anticipated in the hundreds of millions which will be available soon.