A July 22 paper in the journal Nature further underscored earlier studies showing that neither the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, nor chloroquine, prevents SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – from replicating in lung cells. ACSH advisor Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke has more.
We have made amazing progress in the treatment of COVID-19. Two therapies – steroids and remdesivir – have already been shown to help. Those who benefit from these treatments owe thanks to patients who volunteered to participate in controlled clinical trials, and the physicians and pharmaceutical companies that lead them.
Perhaps someday a ballad will be written about the tragic tale of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and its ugly cousin chloroquine (CQ). HCQ, a potential (and controversial) therapy for COVID-19 at one time, is no more. The FDA revoked the emergency authorization of both HCQ and CQ. This was an example of how NOT to develop a drug. A lesson learned -- or not.
If there was any effect of this drug on COVID-19, it was minimal. Hydroxychloroquine, whose toxicity is far lower, may be safer than chloroquine. But that doesn't matter if the drugs are ineffective.