Coronavirus: Trump announces two drugs will be available 'almost immediately'

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The sources of Reuters, US President Trump said, "We have to remove every barrier".

"During the briefing, the President said, 'We're going to be able to make that drug available nearly immediately, and that's where the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been so great", Trump told reporters.

But the FDA chief also said that a vaccine for the drug would likely take at least 12 months.

While addressing reporters on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Trump said, the United States of America will make the drug available immediately.

As dozens of drug companies rush into research projects to develop antibodies and other next-generation therapeutics, chloroquine stands out as a potentially simple, cheap, and scalable treatment, though we haven't yet seen data from any randomized clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research.

"It has a lot of potential, though we're not going on a lot of data yet", Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor School of Medicine, said of early studies of hydroxycholoroquine, a malaria drug developed in the 1940s.

On Tuesday, a team of French scientists released the first results of a clinical study of the use of hydroxychloroquine on 24 coronavirus patients from southeast France.

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THE FACTS: The drug, known chemically as chloroquine, has been available for decades to treat the mosquito-borne illness malaria. Moreover, Trump also said that he was invoking the Defense Production Act with the FEMA active at level 1, across the nation. "We want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial - a large, pragmatic clinical trial - to actually gather that information and answer the question that needs to be asked and answered".

Trump spent the bulk of the press conference touting possible treatments for Covid-19, even though the FDA commissioner repeatedly tempered expectations. "You know, we're not a shipping clerk". Other French researchers also warned of the dangers of authorizing the use of antiviral too quickly, in the absence of wider studies, and said that the side effects of chloroquine can be severe, especially in the case of overdose.

Using antimalarial drugs to treat the coronavirus is something that billionaire businessman Elon Musk thinks has potential. "We are continuing to do that", Hahn said. Drugs like Remdesivir could shorten a patient's hospital stays and lower or eradicate the need for a ventilator.

'Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies and we're working on scaling these to allow many Americans to access drugs that have shown really good progress. "I know that donating blood is an essential part of caring for patients", he said.

The Roche drug, Actemra, is used now for rheumatoid arthritis and some other conditions.

So what are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and how could they help fight the new coronavirus?

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