Trump directs FDA to consider Chloroquine to treat COVID-19

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One day after the NEW GPC announced that it was ramping up production of Chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 persons, US President Trump is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate barriers to getting therapeutics for coronavirus to patients.

He said a drug currently used as an antimalarial — hydroxychloroquine — would be made available almost immediately to treat coronavirus.

“It’s been around for a long time so we know if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“We have to remove every barrier or a lot of barriers that were unnecessary and they’ve done that to get the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments and we think we have some good answers,” Trump said.

Early evidence from human cells suggests that chloroquine — which is used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases — may have some activity against the novel coronavirus.

Doctors in China, the US and other countries have used the drug experimentally in Covid-19 patients, but there is not yet sufficient clinical evidence that it’s effective in humans.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing company NEW GPC on Wednesday announced that in response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19), it has ramped up production of chloroquine tablets.

In a press release, the company said that while there was no vaccine for the virus at this time and one was not expected for at least another year, chloroquine is one of the drugs that have been cited as an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The drug, NEW GPC said, has tested favourably in the US, Japan, Italy, France, and other European countries in the front line in battling the pandemic.

“Studies have shown that chloroquine blocks the viral infection by increasing the endosomal pH needed for viral attachment,” the press release said.

Chloroquine is a 70-year-old drug, which as mentioned earlier, is used to fight malaria and autoimmune diseases. It is safe to use and relatively cheap. NEW GPC is licensed to manufacture this product and has been doing so for many years. This drug requires a doctor’s prescription.

NEW GPC is the Caribbean’s largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. The company has manufactured anti-retrovirals to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Tamiflu to treat the outbreak of bird flu. NEW GPC is US FDA approved and is licensed by the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department.