Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said Sunday that the Trump-touted drudged hydroxychloroquine, often used to treat malaria, is our biggest hope in combating the China-originated coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Narasimhan pledged to donate a stunning 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and will support studies of the drug as a treatment against COVID-19.
Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.
Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which U.S. President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus.
“Pre-clinical studies in animals as well as the first data from clinical studies show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” Narasimhan told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung. “We’re working with Swiss hospitals on possible treatment protocols for the clinical use of the drug, but it’s too early to say anything definitively.”
According to Reuters, pharmaceutical companies Bayer and Teva “have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus.”
As noted by The Daily Wire on Sunday, France officially sanctioned this weekend chloroquine for certain patients infected with COVID-19.
“The French government has officially sanctioned prescriptions of chloroquine to treat certain coronavirus patients,” France 24 English reported Saturday.
“This ensures continued treatment of patients who have been treated for several years for a chronic condition with this drug, but also allows a temporary authorization to allow certain patients with coronavirus to benefit from this therapeutic route,” said Jérôme Salomon, France’s director general of health.
According to a report from Trustnodes, France’s move comes after infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult announced new clinical results, which can be accessed here, that show 78 out of 80 patients treated with chloroquine recovered within five days.
The five-day recovery time is “considerably” faster “than the usual 14 days and for some it can go up to 28 days if they recover at all,” Trustnodes said.
In the United States, President Donald Trump helped to fast-track the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of such drugs, and New York is beginning trials on hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, positive results from the drugs have thus far been largely anecdotal:
The Times repeatedly underscores that the treatment has not yet been proven to be effective by officials and highlights “concerns” among health experts about the Trump and Cuomo-promoted medications, which sometimes have dangerous side effects, like “fatal heart arrhythmia and vision loss.” Like The Washington Post’s editorial board, which has accused Trump of causing “damage” by pointing to the treatment as a potential “cure,” the Times suggests Trump, and to a lesser extent Cuomo, may be guilty of “raising false hopes in the American public” and “contribut[ing] to runs on supply and hoarding” of the drugs.