FDA revokes Emergency Use approval for hydroxychloroquine

June 15, 2020

After weeks of mounting evidence that hydroxychloroquine is often not only ineffective at treating the coronavirus but in some cases dangerous for patients, the FDA has taken back its Emergency Use authorization for the drug. 

Once championed by President Trump as a potential “game changer” in the fight against COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine quickly saw a dramatic increase in its use on coronavirus patients this spring. The sudden demand for hydroxychloroquine and its cousin, chloroquine, even led to shortages for some patients taking the drugs for some their approved uses: malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

After reviewing a new body of recent studies on the drug, the FDA said that although the drug appeared to neutralize the coronavirus in the lab studies, human trials have not shown it to be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19. 

Many hospitals around the U.S. and Europe have already stopped using hydroxychloroquine, but amidst the frenzy to supply a coronavirus treatment, over 400 studies into the drug were launched and many are still underway, according to GlobalData.

Last month, the U.S. also shipped 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, which now has the second most amount of coronavirus cases worldwide.

Read the full Reuters report.