FDA gives emergency approval for antimalarial drugs in treating coronavirus patients

FDA gives emergency approval for antimalarial drugs in treating coronavirus patients

President Donald Trump had hinted of the use of the drugs, including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as potential COVID-19 treatments.

The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has made headlines in recent weeks for its potential to help with the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, though its benefits remain unproven.

The Health and Human Services Department announced Sunday that 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate have been donated. Given the importance of understanding the efficacy of these medications for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), are working together to plan clinical trials.

In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the Rwanda FDA said Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin were not yet approved for treating the virus.

Although there are no now approved treatments for COVID-19, both drugs have shown activity in laboratory studies against the disease.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington on Monday said researchers are investigating whether Hydroxychloroquine, a commonly used anti-malarial and autoimmune-disease treatment, can prevent COVID-19. Emergency access to a medical product under an EUA is separate from use of a medical product under an investigational drug application.

"Our goal is to stop transmission of COVID-19 in the community", Barnabas said.

The spokesman said there was also no evidence either of the positive effects of chloroquine, another malaria drug, which is also being tested for its possible use against COVID-19.

The doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate - a medication used to treat malaria, lupus and arthritis - was donated by the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Sandoz, according to HHS.

The authorization will allow the drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, to be donated to the national stockpile and to be prescribed by doctors to COVID-19 patients without a need for the drug to go through clinical trials.

Trump said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also authorised the Battelle's N95 respirator mask sterilisation kits.

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