FDA should revoke emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

FDA Should Revoke Emergency Use Authorization for Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie

Given the lack of evidence for its effectiveness, and the new evidence that hydroxychloroquine harms patients hospitalized with COVID-19, it is time for the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its Emergency Use Authorization for the drug.

It remains inexplicable why President Trump decided to politicize the prospects of hydroxychloroquine over any other potential treatment for the disease. But his endorsement produced a rush to prescribe and, because there are no proven benefits but are proven risks, he may well have added to the pandemic’s death toll. We need real, double-blinded randomized controlled trials that prove safety and effectiveness before physicians—at the White House or elsewhere—prescribe this drug to prevent or treat COVID-19. We hope the study published in The Lancet today puts an end to the farrago of magical thinking and bureaucratic brow-beating that inspired the fixation on this drug.