Trump administration pushing FDA to re-authorize hydroxychloroquine based on recent questionable study

vbk hydroxychloroquine ap
Credit: AP

[Trade advisor Peter Navarro is pushing for] a second emergency authorization for the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Navarro, armed with a new study that he says shows the drug’s effectiveness, is being cheered on by President Trump, who has long touted the drug as a “game changer” and even used it himself as a possible preventive measure.

Navarro says his goal is simple: At a time when the virus is surging in many parts of the country, there are 60 million doses of hydroxychloroquine in the Strategic National Stockpile that can’t be distributed unless the FDA issues an emergency authorization. He asserted the Henry Ford study shows the drug works when used as an early treatment and said the FDA should take action “within days, not weeks or months” so he could send the shipments.

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But the Henry Ford study has been sharply criticized by scientists who said it shouldn’t be used to change policy. It was an observational study, considered much less rigorous than a randomized trial, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive a treatment or not. And its results fly in the face of three major randomized trials that have found hydroxycloroquine is not effective in treating or preventing covid-19.

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