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FDA has been working closely with other government agencies and academic centers that are investigating the use of the drug chloroquine to determine whether it can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
FDA has been working closely with other government agencies and academic centers that are investigating the use of the drug chloroquine to determine whether it can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease, the agency said in a March 19, 2020 press release. The drug is already approved for treating malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, and studies are underway to determine the efficacy in using chloroquine to treat COVID-19.
“As is true for most medical situations, the great American innovators in academia and industry have engaged with us about treatment options. We are extremely encouraged by the interest and promise in the development of the COVID-19-related therapies. We understand and recognize the urgency with which we are all seeking prevention and treatment options for COVID-19. FDA staff are working expeditiously on that front,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, in the press release. “We also must ensure these products are effective; otherwise we risk treating patients with a product that might not work when they could have pursued other, more appropriate, treatments. At the same time, we will engage with domestic manufacturers to ramp up production of this product to mitigate any potential supply chain pressures. If clinical data suggests this product may be promising in treating COVID-19, we know there will be increased demand for it. We will take all steps to ensure chloroquine remains available for patients who take it to treat severe and life-threatening illnesses such as lupus.”