FDA approves emergency use of malaria pill for COVID-19 treatment

FDA approves emergency use of malaria pill for COVID-19 treatment

FDA approves emergency use of malaria pill for COVID-19 treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has approved five rapid test kits and a more accurate 5-minute test from a U.S. manufacturer which detect COVID-19 infections, Director General Eric Domingo announced Monday.

But that is not the end of the good news, there is now new data supporting the use of Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (Z-Pak) as effective treatment for COVID-19 patients, according to a new report from Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Because of the FDA's authorization allowing HHS to accept donations of the drugs to the Strategic National Stockpile, the medications can now be prescribed by doctors and given to hospitalized teenagers and adults with the viral respiratory infection when clinical trials are not feasible, HHS said in its statement.

Pharmaceutical company Sandoz has donated 30 million doses of Hydroxychloroquine to the U.S. government, president Donald Trump told reporters.

Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Participants will be randomly assigned to take either hydroxychloroquine or a placebo for two weeks, and they will be tested daily for COVID-19, according to a statement from the University of Washington (UW), which will collaborate on the study with New York University (NYU). Major medical centers including the University of Washington and Mass General have also added hydroxychloroquine to treatment options, WSJ said.

If the drug does not work, she said investigators can put their time and energy into other prevention and treatment interventions.

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For the study, researchers in NY and Washington state plan to enroll 2,000 participants who are close contacts of people with confirmed or pending COVID-19 diagnoses. "If it doesn't, then people should avoid unnecessary risks from taking the drug".

The $9.5 million trial looking at post-exposure preventive therapy for COVID-19 is part of a $125 million initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and Mastercard to speed development and access to therapies against COVID-19.

Domingo said rapid COVID-19 tests must still be administered by doctors or health professionals to ensure that the samples are processed properly and the results are interpreted correctly.

France has now officially sanctioned the malaria drug chloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment for patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The hydroxychloroquine trial is one of three grants announced Monday by the accelerator.

Hydroxychloroquine is a medication that has been used since the early 1950s.

"It's used to prevent malaria and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus".

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