FDA Revokes Emergency Use of Hydroxychloroquine to Fight Coronavirus
WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treating COVID-19 as evidence mounts that the drugs don’t work and can cause serious side effects.
“We’ve made clear throughout the public health emergency that our actions will be guided by science and that our decisions may evolve as we learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, review the latest data, and consider the balance of risks versus benefits of treatments for COVID-19,” said Dr. Anand Shah, FDA deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs.
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation, said while additional clinical trials will continue to evaluate the potential benefit of these drugs in treating or preventing COVID-19, “we determined the emergency use authorization was no longer appropriate.”
Cavazzoni explained the decision to revoke the drugs emergency approval was taken following “a rigorous assessment” by scientists at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
“We remain committed to using every tool at our disposal in collaboration with innovators and researchers to provide sick patients timely access to appropriate new therapies,” Cavazzoni said. “Our decisions will always be based on objective and rigorous evaluation of the scientific data. This will never change.”
President Donald Trump had aggressively pushed the drug beginning in the first weeks of the outbreak and stunned medical professionals when he revealed he took the drug preemptively against infection.
All this despite the fact no large studies have found the drugs safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19.
Last week, a National Institutes of Health panel of experts revised its recommendations to specifically recommend against the drug’s use except in formal studies
The decades-old drugs, also prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage.
The FDA’s formal statement on the matter said, “in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use.”
The agency’s decision means that shipments of the drugs obtained by the federal government will no longer be distributed to state and local health authorities for use against the coronavirus.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal's attitude toward legislating under a Democratic-led White House might aptly be described as "never let a crisis go to waste." The Massachusetts Democrat wants to take a page from his party's 2009 playbook, when the Obama administration took office amid the wreckage of... Read More
WASHINGTON — When the 117th Congress convenes in January, COVID-19 precautions will prevent the 435 House members from gathering in the chamber together, so opening day festivities of swearing in members and electing the speaker will look a little different. House leaders have begun discussing how to carry out... Read More
WASHINGTON — A top Senate Democrat said Tuesday that she's engaged in bipartisan discussions on COVID-19 aid and urged quick action even if that means "a short-term package for the next few months." "We need to act," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D- Mich., the fourth-ranking Democrat in that chamber... Read More
You can bring wine to Thanksgiving, bring sweet potatoes, bring congealed salad if you must. But you can't bring COVID-19, and that's causing hours-long lines at U.S. testing centers, triggering desperation among people yet to be cleared for the holiday meal. They're waiting outside even as health officials warn... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — All those warnings from public health officials begging Americans to limit gatherings this holiday season amid a surge in coronavirus cases aren't stopping the White House from planning a host of festivities and holiday parties in the midst of a pandemic. Monday's delivery... Read More