Posted on Apr 07, 2020
Whilst President Donald Trump may continue to tout Hydroxychloroquine, a common anti-malaria drug, as a potential treatment for Covid-19, there is no evidence whatsoever as to whether it is effective or even safe to use in such cases.
In a recent French study, of the 26 patients who took the drug three were transferred to intensive care during the test programme and at least one died on the third day after inclusion.
Trump's comments caused a demand for the drug not only in the United States: Nigeria reported two fatal hydroxychloroquine overdoses after his remarks, and advised people not to take the drug without a doctor’s orders.
The demand for the drug has led to shortages for those who do need it, and has raised fears that the market could become flooded with sub-standard or even counterfeit products.
Between March 1st-16th, the U.S. saw a 57% surge in demand for hydroxychloroquine. Fears are being expressed that the uncertainty caused by Trump's remarks that "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!" will, in the absence of any vaccine, fuel a demand for untested and potentially life-threatening alternatives.
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