Paris: The French government said on Wednesday that doctors can no longer use hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine is a controversial and potentially harmful drug, but US President Donald Trump is still promoting the drug.
The move came after two French consulting agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned this week that the drug (a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus) has shown potential danger in multiple studies.
The urgency of the coronavirus outbreak prompted some doctors to prescribe the drug, although there is a lack of research to prove its effectiveness against the new coronavirus.
A French infectious disease expert particularly insists that he has successfully treated dozens of patients with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin.
Doctor Didier Raoult has caught Trump’s attention. Trump revealed last week that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against COVID-19, which shocked his government.
Raoul has rejected a comprehensive study published last week in The Lancet Medical Journal, which found that taking hydroxychloroquine or its related compound chloroquine actually increased the risk of death for many patients.
“How does the chaotic research conducted with” big data “change what we see?” Raoult asked in a video released this week.
He said: “Here, we have 4,000 people have passed our hospital, you don’t think I will change, because some people are doing ‘big data’, this is completely an illusion.”
According to the new French regulations, the drug can only be used in clinical trials-it is not clear whether Raoul can continue to use the drug at the Marseille Hospital.