U.S. FDA revokes emergency use status of drug touted by Trump for COVID-19
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump to stave off the coronavirus.
Based on new evidence, the FDA said it was no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine may be effective in treating the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
The move comes after several studies of the decades-old malaria drug suggested it was not effective, including a widely anticipated trial earlier this month that showed it failed to prevent infection in people who had been exposed to the virus.
The drug’s anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties suggested it might help treat COVID-19, and the FDA authorized its emergency use in March at the height of a pandemic for which there were no approved treatments.
While it did appear to neutralize the virus in laboratory experiments, hydroxychloroquine, which is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, has failed to prove its worth in human COVID-19 trials, thus far.