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The FDA issue an emergency use authorisation for the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, allowing for it to be used to treat certain hospitalised patients with COVID-19.
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorisation for the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. It allows for the drug – which has been stockpiled as part of a national initiative – to be used to treat certain hospitalised patients with COVID-19. The evidence for chloroquine’s approval is limited, with mostly ad-hoc observations or only small-scale research so far indicating that the drug is efficacious. The drug is not without side effects, either, so properly controlled studies are needed to fully assess the risk and benefit with this new use. While the drug has been given approval to treat COVID-19, it is not recommended for prophylactic use. The advice of health agencies not to self-medicate remains unchanged. The FDA’s decision follows a strong debate between politics and science, with President Trump praising the drug while many scientists urge caution about over-interpreting the very limited available data.
Image Credits: NIAID [Flickr]
Scientific Advisor: Katharine Collins, Radboud University Medical Centre