As the world continues the search for a cure to the deadly Coronavirus, United States President, Donald Trump, has said, in a Thursday press briefing, that chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria and severe arthritis, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, to test as a COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, as the number of cases worldwide continues to increase. READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Aisha Buhari Clears Air On Daughter’s Status
FDA commissioner, Dr Stephen Hahn, who also spoke during the press briefing, said the drug will be used in a clinical trial.
The US President also said that other antiviral medications will be fast-tracked for FDA’s approval.
Hahn said: “We will collect that data and make the absolute right decisions based upon those data about the safety and efficacy of the treatments.”
Revealing that the White House has “slashed red tape” to speed up approval for vaccines and other treatments, Trump added that the FDA approved compassionate use for a number of patients, which allows very ill patients to use drugs not yet approved by the agency for widespread use.
Explaining the effect of the drug, Hahn said: “What’s also important is not to provide false hope
The FDA Commissioner added: “We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good.”
According to reports, Trump was said to have spoken with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, on Wednesday night about chloroquine and the governor said that he wanted to be “first in line” to access the drug for the state’s 4,100 coronavirus patients.
In the meantime, a report credited to a medical journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, chloroquine was effective in killing the coronavirus in laboratory experiments.
According to the journal, the drug was first approved in 1995 and, in addition to treating malaria, is used in patients with lupus or arthritis. Doctors and scientists are working to find an effective treatment for coronavirus, as one does not exist.