The government in France have revoked a decree allowing the prescription of controversial hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID
FRANCE’S government have revoked a decree allowing hospitals to prescribe the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients after the French public health watchdog warned against its use for treatment.
The government’s decision comes just after the World Health Organization (WHO) said concerns about safety had prompted it to stop the use of the drug in a global chemical trial.
A study published in British medical journal The Lancet found patients randomised to get hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) had increased mortality rates and higher frequency of irregular heartbeats.
Hydroxychloroquine is usually prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. However, US President Trump has touted it as a possible treatment for the coronavirus.
HCQ has been the subject of much debate in France, where Professor Didier Raoult previously claimed to have successfully treated coronavirus patients using a combination of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine.
However, health care professionals have questioned the value of Raoult’s study, saying it was badly designed and used too small a sample to offer concrete evidence.
The European Medicines Agency has warned that there was no indication HCQ could treat the coronavirus and said some studies had seen fatal heart problems in patients.