Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to reporters' questions Friday about whether the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine could be used to prevent COVID-19, as reported by This Is Money.
"The answer…is no," Fauci said during the White House briefing, adding that "the information that you're referring to specifically is anecdotal…It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it."
A day earlier, when Fauci was not with him at that briefing, US President Donald Trump had called attention to the drug and its potential usefulness against COVID-19.
Fauci went on to explain that the FDA is looking for a way to make the drug available to patients for emergency use, but in a manner that gives the government data about whether it is safe and effective.
Hydroxychloroquine and a similar drug, chloroquine, are available now and can be prescribed off-label by doctors in the US.
They may interfere with the coronavirus being able to enter cells, and some scientists have reported possible encouraging signs in preclinical and other small studies.
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