Medical professionals are still scrambling for answers to combat the Wuhan coronavirus.
The race against the clock for a vaccine has begun, but that could be a long way off.
However, the FDA just gave some promising news about the coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the use of antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the Wuhan coronavirus.
As of now, the drugs are only permitted in emergency situations, but this could be a gamechanger in terms of treating the pandemic.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in a statement that the FDA will permit the antimalarial drugs to be “donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence in multiple countries, including the United States, that the drug has been effective in battling the coronavirus.
However, opponents of Donald Trump immediately tried to make the potential life-saving drugs a wedge issue.
Trump’s optimism over the drug was immediately shot down by Democrats and members of the press.
He was chided for giving people “false hope” despite doctors saying the drugs have been effective.
The antimalarial drugs aren’t being used as a cure-all, but they could help critical coronavirus patients pull through.
Now that the FDA has approved the drug’s usage, we can start to develop more data points about the effectiveness of the medicine.
These drugs could give the world much needed hope at this time, because a vaccine for the pandemic could take as long as 18 months to develop.
To date, there have been over 876,000 cases of coronavirus and over 43,000 deaths within only about four and a half months.
Also, the numbers are likely higher because statistics coming out of China and Iran cannot be trusted, and some countries don’t have any testing capabilities at all.
Multiple countries have stepped in by donating treatments of the drug to the national stockpile.
Sandoz donated 30 million doses, and Bayer donated 1 million.
Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan believes strongly in the drugs and donated 130 million doses.
It’s still early in the process, so we don’t know how effective the drugs will be on the whole, but this could potentially be a turning point in the battle against the coronavirus.
There’s reason to believe that the coronavirus doesn’t spread well in warm and humid climates, so the United States could see a sharp downturn in cases in the coming warmer months.
However, there still could be a secondary spike in the fall and winter.
Hopefully, there’ll be significant testing, and perhaps production, of the antimalarial drugs by then so we don’t experience a prolonged shutdown of the entire economy or see as many deaths.