BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday revoked the emergency use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of new coronavirus pneumonia, drawing a scathing attack from U.S. President Donald Trump, saying only U.S. agencies do not understand the drug’s benefits in the fight against the new coronavirus. The FDA says that based on new evidence, the view that hydroxychloroquine and the associated drug chloroquine may be effective in treating diseases caused by the new coronavirus is no longer reasonable.
The FDA also warned that the drugs have been shown in laboratory studies to interfere with the effectiveness of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug Redsivir. Redsewe is the only drug that has so far been shown to be useful in formal clinical trials to fight neo-coronary pneumonia.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been used for decades as drugs to treat malaria. Previous studies have shown that they are ineffective in treating or preventing new coronary pneumonia.
British scientists halted a major trial earlier this month after deciding that hydroxychloroquine was “ineffective” in treating patients with new coronary pneumonia.
But Mr. Trump claimed that there had been “significant reports” about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in France, Spain and elsewhere, though he offered no evidence or further explanation. France is one of the countries where hydroxychloroquine has been discontinued for the treatment of new crown pneumonia.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the possibility of treating the drug in the early stages of the disease is still being studied.