A Yale epidemiology professor says hydroxychloroquine, long touted by President Trump, could help save as many as 100,000 lives if used properly to treat COVID-19.
Dr. Harvey Risch if the anti-malaria drug were used more widely in the U.S., especially as a “prophylactic” for medical workers, anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 Americans could be saved.
The reason the drug isn’t being used is really just part of a “propaganda war.”
“It’s a political drug now, not a medical drug,” Risch said on Fox News’ Laura Ingraham show this week. “I think we are basically fighting a propaganda war against the medical facts, and that colors not just population people, how they think about it, but doctors, as well.”
“There are many doctors that I’ve gotten hostile remarks [from] saying that all the evidence is bad for it and, in fact, that is not true at all,” he said. “All the evidence is actually good for it when it’s used in outpatient uses.
“Nevertheless, the only people who actually see that are a whole pile of doctors who are actually on the front lines treating those patients across the country — and they are the ones who are at risk of being forced not to do it.”
The drug has been bashed simply because Trump has touted its effectiveness, based on research. A recent study from the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan found that hydroxychloroquine use resulted in a “66 percent hazard ratio reduction.” The study, which said more trials are needed, noted that “treatment with Hydroxychloroquine alone, and in combination with azithromycin, was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality.”
The antimalarial drug in April was deemed the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus in an international poll of more than 6,000 doctors.
The survey, conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, asked 6,227 physicians in 30 countries to find out what works against SARS-CoV-2. The poll found that 37% of those treating patients suffering frm the coronavirusa that causes COVID-19 patients rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy.”
Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, camed in as the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by “nothing.”
“Outside the U.S., hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the U.S. it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found.