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FDA contradicts Trump on status of potential coronavirus drug

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has countered President Donald Trump on claim of approving Chloroquine for treatment of coronavirus.

During a press briefing on Thursday March 19, Trump said the Food and Drug Administration had approved the “very powerful” drug chloroquine to treat coronavirus.


However the FDA debunked the claim in a post-briefing statement it released. Speaking from the same podium at a White House Press Conference, Steven Hahn, the FDA head contradicted Mr Trump, saying the president had “directed us to take a closer took” at whether the drug could help people with coronavirus.

Mr Hahn said;

“We want to do that in the setting of a . . . large pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information and answer the question that needs to be answered.”


In the post-briefing statement, the FDA said “there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19.” 


The American regulatory agency added that because chloroquine has been approved for other purposes, doctors are legally allowed to prescribe it for the unapproved or “off-label” use of treating the coronavirus if they want. But its safety and effectiveness has not been proven with regard to the coronavirus.


The FDA further disclosed that they are working with government and academic entities that are investigating whether chloroquine can be used “to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease.”

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