Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Nevada Governor Bans Use of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine To Treat Covid-19

From AP via U.S. News and World Report:
Nevada Governor Bars Malaria Drugs for Coronavirus Patients
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s governor has signed an emergency order barring the use of anti-malaria drugs for someone who has the coronavirus.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order Tuesday restricting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine comes after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment for the virus.

Trump last week falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. After the FDA’s chief said the drug still needs to be tested for that use, Trump overstated the drug’s potential benefits in containing the virus.

Sisolak said in a statement that there’s no consensus among experts or Nevada doctors that the drugs can treat people with COVID-19. His order also limits a prescription to a 30-day supply so that people cannot find a way to stockpile the drug and ensure it’s available for “legitimate medical purposes.”
The governor’s rule comes a day after a Phoenix-area man died and his wife was in critical condition after they took an additive used to clean fish tanks known as chloroquine phosphate, similar to the drug used to treat malaria.
Three quick notes:
1) the drugs don't need FDA approval for off-label and/or compassionate use when prescribed by a physician.
2) and I can't stress this enough, the stuff the Arizona couple drank was not chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. As Santa Rosa's (CA, not Sausalito but still a nice hood) Press Democrat puts it:
In Maricopa County, Arizona, a couple in their 60s watched politicians and news anchors on TV tout chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that has shown the ability to disrupt some viruses but that has not been proved effective against the novel coronavirus.

That pharmaceutical name matched the label on a bottle of chemicals they used to clean their koi pond, NBC News reported. The fish tank solvent that treats aquatic parasites contains the same active ingredient as the drug, but in a different form that can poison people.

"I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, 'Hey, isn't that the stuff they're talking about on TV?' " the wife, who was not named, told the network. "We were afraid of getting sick."
The couple reportedly poured some of the fish tank cleaning chemical, chloroquine phosphate, into soda and drank it. They hoped it would stave off a coronavirus infection....
The AP only added that last paragraph about aquariums two hours after their story was published.

3) finally, although there are only early anecdotal accounts of the efficacity of  chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against covid-19 they are much better anecdotes than I usually tell here on the blog.

Here's The Week with one anecdote:
States are reportedly trying to stop doctors from 'hoarding' potential coronavirus treatment drugs

And another via Connexion France: 
French researcher posts successful Covid-19 drug trial

And at Preprints
Repositioning Chloroquine as Ideal Antiviral Prophylactic against COVID-19 - Time is Now

I don't care what President Trump said or didn't say (there seems to be some confusion) but as long as there is a possibility the stuff works it should be available as a last resort.

Here are the FDA pages on:
Understanding Unapproved Use of Approved Drugs "Off Label"
Expanded Access (compassionate use)

"New York launches new COVID-19 drug trials; more underway in China"