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How the FDA May be Prolonging the Pandemic (Guest: Meryl Nass, M.D.)

July 16, 2020

Is the FDA prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic? Meryl Nass, M.D. talks about how this is the case with the blocking of hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been used safely for nearly 70 years in the treatment of malaria and auto-immune disorders. It had been sold over the counter in France and was added to table salt to help control malaria in parts of southeast Asia.  The Food and Drug Administration has sent the medical providers mixed messages about the use of the drug to stave off or mitigate severe symptoms of early onset COVID-19.  Nass says trials that deemed the drug “unsafe” used toxic levels of the drug and says the retraction of studies in The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine should be raising red flags with the public.

Henry Ford Hospital released a favorable study on hydroxychloroquine the week of July 6. It found treatment with the drug significantly reduced the death rate by more than one half. Yet, the Lancet and NEJ studies did their damage. The FDA will not say the drug is safe for early use (says it is only appropriate for hospitalized patients) and physicians are afraid to prescribe the drug due to increased liability for lack of FDA guidance.

A petition is circulating asking the Trump Administration for a new Emergency Use Authorization of hydroxychloroquine calling for 5 changes…2 involve prophylactic use of HCQ for health care workers and first responders…allow contact tracers to prescribe the drug, allow physicians to prescribe based on their professional judgment and continue studies of early use HCQ. 

Nass discusses her list,  How a False Hydroxychloroquine was Created, now consisting of 28 examples.

Her personal experience with HCQ in her practice, what role vaccine and brand name drugs may play in the current FDA stance.

And the separate petition, Support for the Request for Emergency Use Authorization of HCQ for Ambulatory Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19.

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Health Care
Author
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.
amschieber@heartland.org @HCPolicy