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Hydroxychloroquine given to 1,100 patients with COVID-19 in New York

Published on 30/03/20 at 10:30am
Photo by ahundt

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is being administered to 1,100 patients in New York, which is fast becoming the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The drug is being test on an experimental basis, and it is hoped by President Trump that it will become a treatment for the virus.

He told reporters: “Hydroxychloroquine is being administered to 1,100 patients, people in New York along with the Z-pack, which is azithromycin, and it is very early yet. It started two days ago but we will see what happens.” This followed a tweet last week where he touted the drug as a “gift from god”.

The FDA allowed a quick approval due to data suggesting it could be an effective coronavirus treatment and the drug having relatively harmless side effects. The current evidence showing its effectiveness is from a small 36-patient study from French researchers that shows it can kill COVID-19.

Since Trump’s tweets and statements, people have been panic buying the drug sold under the brand name Plaquenil which was originally approved in 1955.

The FDA has also allowed this drug to be donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. Novartis’s Sandoz has donated 30 million doses to the stockpile while Bayer has donated 1 million doses of chloroquine.

In New York, over 1,000 people have now died from the virus and Sunday saw a 7,200 increase in cases.

Conor Kavanagh

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