‘We can’t wait months for a completed RCT or a vaccine. People are dying every day…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., on Thursday circulated a petition for doctors and concerned patients that asks President Donald Trump to make hydroxychloroquine available for more COVID-19 patients.
By noon on Friday, 776 practicing physicians had signed onto the Right to Try hydroxychloroquine letter.
Johnson’s letter asks Trump to direct the FDA to end the Emergency Use Authorizations on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which limit the use of these drugs in the Strategic National Stockpile to “certain hospitalized patients.”
The pharmaceutical company Novartis donated 30 million hydroxychloroquine pills to the national stockpile, but regulations prevent them from being distributed to COVID-19 patients until hospitals admit them.
Johnson said Trump should instruct the FDA to authorize “early outpatient use of these medications.”
The letter also requests that Trump sign a directive to “prohibit Governors from arbitrarily restricting hydroxychloroquine to only hospitalized patients, and b) prohibit State Medical Boards and State Pharmacy Boards from threats of disciplinary action (now occurring in multiple states) against doctors and pharmacists legally prescribing and dispensing HCQ and CQ off-label for early treatment or prophylaxis for COVID-19 in out-patients or at-risk or exposed persons.”
The letter states that the early use of these medicines can “prevent the virus attaching to host cells, reduce viral replication that prolongs time of infectivity and spread, reduce the number of hospitalizations and need for intubation and mechanical ventilators, and reduce risk of multi-organ damage and death or permanent lung impairment after recovery.”
Johnson’s letter said COVID-19 patients do not have the time to wait years for a “randomized, placebo-controlled, doubleblind clinical trial (RCT).”
The FDA has approved chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The drugs’ side effects are well-known, mild and manageable under the supervision of a doctor, with some exceptions for those with certain heart conditions.
“We can’t wait months for a completed RCT or a vaccine,” the letter said. “People are dying every day. Staggering numbers of people have lost jobs, incomes, and ability to live life normally, all of which lead to loss of life that could quickly exceed losses from the virus.”