FDA changes hydroxychloroquine status
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 6/15/20, 05:46 pm
The unproven benefits of two malaria drugs in treating or preventing COVID-19 “do not outweigh the known and potential risks,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday. The agency pulled its emergency use authorization for dispensing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to coronavirus patients, citing reports of heart problems and other complications.
Does that mean doctors can’t use the drugs? The emergency use authorization meant the federal government would distribute its own stockpile of the drugs to state and local health officials to treat the virus. The move limits access to the drug, but doctors can still write off-label prescriptions for COVID-19 patients.
Dig deeper: Read Dr. Charles Horton’s report on how the back-and-forth over possible COVID-19 treatments erodes public trust in health officials.
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