By Andrew Dunn
- The malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have rapidly become top potential coronavirus treatments.
- But they lack any high-quality clinical evidence that shows they are effective against COVID-19.
- Dr. David Boulware, a University of Minnesota infectious disease professor, is running two experiments to test hydroxychloroquine in large controlled trials to determine the drug’s effectiveness. Both are now open for enrollment.
- One study is assessing whether taking hydroxychloroquine can prevent infections in people who have recently been exposed to the virus. The other trial is seeing if taking the drug can reduce the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 patients who just started to show symptoms.
- People can now apply to enroll in both studies at trialcovid.com. The researchers are hoping to have clinical results from both studies in about a month.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
An old, generic malaria drug has rapidly become a leading potential coronavirus treatment, as President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted its potential against the virus and the US government has built up a massive stockpile of the medication.
On Sunday, the US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency authorization — the first for any COVID-19 treatment — allowing doctors to use chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who cannot enroll in clinical trials.
While Trump has talked of chloroquine as a game changer, there remains little clinical evidence showing the pills work against the virus.
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“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight week period,” Governor Newsom of California wrote on 3/19/2020.