Washington, June 15: Hydroxychloroquine, the drug backed by US President Donald Trump, would no longer be administered on COVID-19 patients in the United States, said a statement issued by the Federal Drug Administrator (FDA) on Monday. Also known as HCQ, the anti-malarial drug's effectiveness in combating coronavirus was not scientifically established. WHO Announces Resumption of Hydroxychloroquine Clinical Trials.
The drug was used in emergency cases by several public and private hospitals in the US, and other parts of the world. Combined with Azithromycin, the drug was expected to play a key role in reducing fatalities due to coronavirus. Several studies, however, pointed out that the two drugs failed to reduce the number of deaths or catalyse the recovery rate.
Apart from being non-effective, the reason behind revoking the usage of HCQ is due the risks it poses to patients with comorbidities. Scientists have claimed that the anti-malarial drug could even prove to be fatal if tried on heart patients. It exponentially raises the risk of cardiac arrests.
"It is no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of HCQ and CQ may be effective in treating COVID-19, nor is it reasonable to believe that the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks," said the statement issued by FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton.
"Accordingly, FDA revokes the EUA for emergency use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19," the FDA chief scientist declared in his letter, which was sent to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Over 50 million tablets of the HCQ were exported from India to the United States. President Trump had, in March, threatened of diplomatic retaliation if the Indian government does not approve the export of HCQ to the US. In several press conferences between March and April, Trump continued to back the drug, calling it a "game-changer" in the fight against coronavirus.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 15, 2020 10:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).