The U.S. President, Donald Trump, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have differed over a reported approval by the latter for the use of chloroquine to treat the dreaded Coronavirus.
The FDA, also known as USFDA, is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments.
On Thursday, Mr Trump announced the approval and possible use of the malaria drug against Covid19, as cases across the country soared past 10,000 with over 150 deaths.
President Trump said the FDA had approved the drug but the regulatory agency contradicted the claim.
“We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that’s where the FDA has been so great. They’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it – they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states,” Mr Trump said according to a CNN reported.
“Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved, by prescription.”
But minutes later, Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the FDA, appeared to contradict the president, saying chloroquine “was undergoing clinical testing in order to gauge its effectiveness.”
“We want to do that in a setting of a clinical trial,” Hahn said, according to CNN. “I have great hope for how we are going to come out of this situation. What’s also important is not to provide false hope.”
Meanwhile, authorities in Nigeria where the use of Chloroquine for malaria was banned in 2005 due to high treatment failures resulting from drug resistance, said the drug is yet to be confirmed as one of the sure drugs in the treatment of coronavirus.
Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said there is yet to be a certain acceptable drug in the treatment of the new disease as lots of clinical trials are still ongoing.
Chloroquine and a related drug, hydroxychloroquine, are among the four treatments undergoing lab studies and international clinical trials for its potentials in treating Coronavirus, it was learnt.
Doctors in France said 25 per cent of patients who received the drug (chloroquine) tested positive for the virus after six days, compared with 90 per cent of those who did not receive it, according to the UK Guardian.
But despite its remarkable potential, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to make a statement about the place of chloroquine or its effectiveness in the treatment of the disease.
The UN health agency said they were looking forward to results from two clinical trials of therapeutics prioritised by the WHO R&D Blueprint.
Asides chloroquine, the HIV treatment drug, Kaletra; the anti-flu drug, favipiravir; the Ebola drug, remdesivir are some drugs undergoing clinical trials.
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