Hydroxychloroquine drug trial underway at University of Washington but can it tame COVID-19?

Epigraph:

Every human life is precious and sacred, saving one is like the saving of the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

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University of Washington. Suggested reading by the Muslim Times: A Moonshot Moment for the Muslims: Making Covid 19 Vaccine before the West and China

Source: KOMONEWS

By Patrick Quinn, KOMO News reporter

SEATTLE – On Monday, scientists at the University of Washington started their second week of trials to determine if hydroxychloroquine can prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’ve been able to enroll participants, but we do need more participants,” said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, principal investigator.

Barnabas said researchers are looking for individuals who have been in close contact with someone who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

Barnabas, who’s working with counterparts at New York University for the project, said they’re testing to see if hydroxychloroquine can be used to disrupt transmission within the community.

This trial is underway as hydroxychloroquine is under scrutiny for its potential to prevent and treat COVID-19.

During a weekend press conference, President Donald Trump encouraged the use of the drug to treat serious cases of the virus.

“I hope they use the hydroxychloroquine, and they could also do it with Z-Pak, subject to your doctor’s approval,” Trump said. “But I hope they use it cause I tell you what. What do you have to lose? In some cases they’re in bad shape.”

Some have been critical of the president’s comments because hydroxychloroquine only recently received the OK from the FDA for it to be used to treat serious cases of COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat lupus, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some of those diagnosed with lupus told KOMO News they fear the surge in demand for the drug could cut off their supply.

“It’s a bit unnerving,” said Karen Gallion, who lives in Spokane Valley and suffers from lupus. “I now have one-and-a-half pills I decided to take per day instead of the two. Because I have a 90-day supply, which will get me through supply, but that extra half a pill will give me an extra 15 days.”

Gallion hopes to see more manufacturing of the drug.

The Department of Health and Human Services said on its website that “clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective.”

On Sunday, the department accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by Sandoz for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials.

Some states, like New York, are limiting prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine to 14 days to ensure everybody who needs the drug has access to it.

KOMO News asked if the Washington Pharmacy Commission has any similar stipulations.

In an email, a spokesperson did not detail in prescription limits, but said they’re communicating to physicians and pharmacists “to be vigilant and aware of prescribing for prophylaxis use and to use professional judgement when dispensing.”

The email continued saying, “the research into the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment for COVID-19 is on-going. We hope to continue to work with other agencies and the governor’s office to address any barriers that may impact the continuity of care for Washingtonian in the public health crisis.”

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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.

Categories: Health

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