While the world is battling against the Novel Coronavirus and scientists are still trying to develop a promising drug or vaccine for the COVID-19 disease, doctors in the US are hoarding prescription drugs which could be used to treat the virus for themselves.
Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not approve anti-malaria drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19, US doctors are prescribing this medication along with hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, for themselves and for their family members.
Earlier US President Donald Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk saw potential in well-known malaria drug chloroquine to cure COVID-19, while the FDA mentioned in a statement that "there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19," as its safety and effectiveness have not been proven with regard to the new Coronavirus. Later, Nigeria reported on March 22, that two Nigerians were taken to hospital in Lagos following complication from the overdose of the anti-Malaria drug.
Meanwhile, a new study has found that the combination of hydroxychloroquine, specifically used for chloroquine-sensitive malaria, could be effective in treating the Coronavirus and reduce the duration of the virus in the patient's body. But it should be noted that the medication could cause several side-effects such as headache, dizziness, vomiting, stomach pain, skin rash or itching and hair loss.
Another drug which the doctors are prescribing, remdesivir is claimed to work against the Novel Coronavirus. It is developed by Gilead Sciences and could be the closest to commercial launch, said reports. Vincent Munster, chief, Viral Ecology Unit, US National Institute of Health earlier said that "Remdesivir has quite high efficacy across all different coronaviruses and therefore it is one of the prime candidates to start being tested."
The COVID-19 treatment
It should be mentioned that as reported by The New York Times, stockpiling has prompted pharmaceutical boards in Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas to issue restrictions and regulations on the usage of these drugs as these are not FDA approved.
Recently an Arizona man died after he and his wife consumed chloroquine phosphate to prevent themselves from the Novel Coronavirus. Reports also revealed that woman said they took the medication after President Trump "kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure."
In his White House briefing on Thursday, Trump stated:
"It's shown very encouraging -- very, very encouraging early results. And we're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that's where the FDA has been so great. They -- 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.
"Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it's -- it was approved very, very quickly and it's now approved, by prescription."
Later, a person posted on a Facebook group for pharmacists stating that they received prescriptions for one of these medicines for themselves and their family members and asked: "Is this ethical?" Another person who was quoted in the report posted in the group that they were called "communist" for denying a prescription to someone for one of these drugs.