Georgian officials said a pharmaceutical company donated 200,000 doses of drugs used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases that were aggressively promoted by President Donald Trump to fight COVID-19 even though it had not been proven safe to use.
US representative Doug Collins said on Tuesday that generic drug manufacturer Amneal Pharmaceuticals donated a dose of hydroxychloroquine sulfate to the state Department of Public Health for potential use in treating Georgians hospitalized for the disease.
In a statement, Collins said Georgia was one of the first states to receive donations from a New Jersey-based company. Others include Louisiana, New York and Texas.
Governor Brian Kemp’s government did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the development, although the state health official had doubted the efficacy of the drug to fight COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus virus.
Trump has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine to be used against this disease, which has killed hundreds of Georgians and made thousands more sick. But drug, which is used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupusIt has not yet been approved as a treatment for coronavirus, and doctors have reported mixed results.
Dr. Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the state’s Department of Public Health, recently wrote a letter to doctors warning them not to overemphasize the drug and warned that the drug could result in a shortage of patients suffering from other diseases that depend on it. , Georgia Health News reports.
Federal health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health, recently said it should not be considered a “KO drug”.
And Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, said she would not prescribe drugs for coronavirus patients because the risk of dangerous side effects was “too significant to be minimized” without further research. Among these are irregular heart rhythms and other heart problems.
Dr. Darria Long, an Atlanta emergency room doctor, said he was worried that hydroxychloroquine had drawn attention from other promising therapies that still needed to undergo rigorous clinical trials. Doctors, he continued, must remain aware of the potential side effects.
“This is something we cannot treat blindly,” Long said. “We need to apply the exact same scientific rigor that we use to treat COVID as we use to treat every other medical condition.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this article.