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article imageU.S. is now stuck with a stockpile of hydroxychloroquine

By Karen Graham     Jun 18, 2020 in Health
Now that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked permission for hydroxychloroquine to be used for the treatment of COVID-19, the federal government is left with a stockpile of 63 million doses, according to an HHS spokesperson.
After President Donald Trump, along with Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and others touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the federal government began stockpiling the drug in March.
It wasn't too long a time before the nation's stockpile had grown to 63 million surplus doses of the drug, donated by companies including Novartis, and another 2 million doses of chloroquine, donated by Bayer, the New York Times is reporting.
On Monday, the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization to use the drug to treat Covid-19, saying there was "no reason to believe" the drug was effective against the virus, and that it increased the risk of side effects, including heart problems.
The FDA also warned against giving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to patients who are also getting remdesivir, the one drug that has any authorization for use in treating coronavirus.
The White House was not at all happy with the FDA's decision to revoke the emergency use authorization. Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, who helped distribute 19 million hydroxychloroquine pills, was fuming during an interview Monday night. “This is a Deep State blindside by bureaucrats who hate the administration they work for more than they’re concerned about saving American lives," he said.
However, the FDA's move was applauded by medical experts across the country. A number of studies have already concluded that hydroxychloroquine's potential benefits did not outweigh their risks.
The FDA's revocation of an emergency use permit for hydroxychloroquine was not the only bad news the White House received this week. According to STAT News, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said it was dropping hydroxychloroquine from its massive study after available data indicated the drug was not effective for Covid-19.
So the latest turn of events leaves the U.S. National Stockpile with 63 million doses of a drug that is worthless in treating COVID-19, according to Carol Danko, a spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services.
"HHS is working with the companies that donated the product to determine the available options for the product that remains in the Strategic National Stockpile," Danko wrote in a statement to CNN.
Dr. Rick Bright, the official who says he was ousted for opposing the administration's push to use hydroxychloroquine, tweeted Monday that the drugs, some of which came from factories overseas that had not been certified by the FDA, "should never have been brought into our country and should be destroyed."
More about hydroxychloroquine, US stockpile, Covid19, WHO clinical trial, Fda
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