A panel of government experts on disease control has recommended the use of a controversial anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat coronavirus, which directly contradicts the federal health department, which has told doctors that they can prescribe it for patients.
Australia Health The Main Protection Committee – the top body that manages health emergencies – says the use of experimental drugs such as hydroxychloroquine for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 is not recommended, and should only be prescribed as part of clinical trials.
“The exact dosage of the drug for use in Covid-19 has not been determined, and there is concern that if used inappropriately, the use of drugs that are not labeled can cause toxicity and cause adverse outcomes for patients,” suggested the latest AHPPC about using the word drug for Covid -19.
“Due to safety concerns, and unknown effects of prescribing this drug for use outside the label, such as for Covid-19 infection, there are no recommendations at this time to treat patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease.”
But the Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday that in addition to being used in clinical trials, the drugs could be given “in a controlled environment in the care of seriously ill patients in the hospital”.
Emerging as one of the government-supported institutions to carry out clinical trials of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19, the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital Foundation, has refused to answer questions from the Australian Guardian about trials and descriptions of incorrect drugs by a professor presiding over the trial as “drug”.
After initially agreeing to answer the question, the foundation’s spokesperson has not returned the email or answered the call. Trial foundations have received favorable coverage from Channel Seven. The broadcaster has not yet responded to questions from the Australian Guardian.
Australian virologist and doctor has warned that hydroxychloroquine can cause severe and even life-threatening side effects, and has warned against using it for conditions that have not been tested. This is a proven treatment for malaria and for several autoimmune conditions. Studies of its efficacy as a Covid-19 preventive or mixed treatment. Most of the focus on medicine came after a small study in France, which has since been done a lot denied and found to have removed data containing false results. A small study from China found no benefit for chloroquine given to Covid-19 patients.
Hydroxychloroquine has also caused divisions within the White House, Axios reported, after the US president, Donald Trump, considered it a “Game changer” in treating viruses. White House infectious disease experts warned Trump for that evidence the drug is just an anecdote and far from proven. Meanwhile, a hospital in France has stopped giving drugs to Covid-19 patients due to heart side effects.
On saturday Australian Guardian revealed that the delegation of the minister of health, Greg Hunt, has released hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, Remdesivir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir of the requirements listed on the list of therapeutic items in Australia, which is generally the only way drugs can be legally supplied in Australia.
An exception is that drugs “should only be supplied in Australia for the prevention, treatment or eradication of coronavirus (Covid-19) following the advice of the Australian government health department”.
In a press conference on Wednesday Hunt was asked by the Australian Guardian if he was worried about drugs used outside the label.
“The AHPPC gives very wise advice about the use of different drugs and they are very clear about the situation about the use outside the label, but also talk about the appropriateness of clinical trials,” he said.
Hunt said the clinical trial was “entirely in the appropriate medical behavior”, but refused to offer views about use outside the label.
“I will let the medical advisor give medical advice, that’s the right balance,” he said.
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