The US has approved the anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine for use as a treatment against the new coronavirus, President Donald Trump said Thursday.
“We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately, and that’s where the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been so great,” Trump told reporters.
“They’ve gone through the approval process — it’s been approved. They took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription.”
According to the FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the drug has not been formally approved. It’s use is known as “compassionate use.”
“If there is an experimental drug that is potentially available, a doctor could ask for that drug to be used in a patient. We have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that,” said Hahn.
“It’s already approved, as the president said, for the treatment of malaria as well as an arthritis condition.
“That’s a drug that the president directed us to take a closer look at, as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients.”
Chloroquine has been used to treat malaria since the 1940s. Although it has been used to treat reat coronavirus patients in China and in France, only more trials would determine if it really works and is safe. However, some researchers said it showed great promise.