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White House presses FDA to reconsider controversial hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment

Washington, US | XINHUA | The White House is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reinstate its emergency use authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump to combat COVID-19, media reported.

Weeks ago, the FDA revoked the EUA that allowed for hydroxychloroquine used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19, after the agency determined that hydroxychloroquine is “unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA,” while highlighting potential serious side effects.

“White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is leading a Trump administration effort to demand the Food and Drug Administration reverse course,” the Washington Post reported.

“A reversal (on hydroxychloroquine) would be widely seen as bending to the political will of the White House,” the Washington Post quoted Steven Joffe, a medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as saying.

As the agency will take the lead in approving a vaccine for the coronavirus in the country, “health experts say it is important for the agency, which was criticized for its initial decision to okay hydroxychloroquine in March, to guard its credibility as it prepares to make these landmark decisions for a public sometimes skeptical of vaccines,” the report warned.

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