Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is approved by the FDA as an antimalarial and anti-rheumatic medication and can be prescribed by doctors for any disease. Neither the issuance nor the revocation of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for HCQ has any impact on its status as an approved drug available for prescriptions. The EUA was only needed to use HCQ from the Strategic National Stockpile.
President Trump recommended HCQ and called the HCQ-AZ treatment a game changer. Health Secretary Alex Azar confirmed that the drug could be prescribed for COVID-19, as did the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn. The decisions regarding the use of HCQ as a treatment for COVID-19 should be made by doctors and their patients, but this is not the case right now.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and the fake news media have been running a misinformation campaign against HCQ and an intimidation campaign against the doctors prescribing it. Many anti-Trump’ officials in the federal and state governments have joined this devastating movement against HCQ. Information about HCQ is deleted from Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Doctors who speak up about the drug have been attacked and silenced. False information discrediting HCQ is promoted and doctors and hospitals are intimidated and misinformed preventing them from using the drug.
Unfortunately, the Federal Government also provides ammunition for the campaign against HCQ. FDA’s website still contains the absurd and refuted warning about the use of HCQ for treating COVID-19 (but not for malaria, rheumatic arthritis, or lupus – which all require much longer use of the drug). The FDA must remove this warning or clarify that HCQ cardiac effects are extremely rare, at least outside of the ICU.
The FDA, being an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, ultimately reports to the President. Federal employees can be fired for cause. Denying life-saving treatments to US citizens is cause.
The NIH COVID-19 Treatment Panel Guidelines also wrongly advise against the use of HCQ and HCQ-AZ. Other government websites, such as coronavirus.org, repeat this lie. The Federal Government must remove this deadly misinformation from its websites immediately and encourage doctors and hospitals to do their jobs and save their patients.
Physicians must be allowed and encouraged to do what they have always been called upon to do – actively treat disease, as early as possible, to save lives. They should inform their patients about HCQ-treatments, upon showing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Pharmacies should also be allowed and encouraged to do what they have always been called upon to do – fill doctors’ prescriptions without interfering in the doctor-patient relationship.