On March 28, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for the anti-malarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19 when deemed appropriate by a healthcare provider. As reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, an EUA does not classify the drug as approved but considers that it may be effective for slowing the progression of or treating a disease. Even though a clinical trial is not possible at this time, physicians are permitted to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to hospitalized adolescent and adult COVID-19 patients through the duration of the pandemic. Experts cited by The Washington Post recommend that COVID-19 infected patients undergo “screening before the drugs are prescribed to prevent drug-related deaths.”
An FDA press release states that EUA requires that fact sheets with important information, such as risks and drug interactions, about both medications be made available to physicians and patients. The agency also notes that hospitals will receive the medication via distribution from the Strategic National Stockpile.
MLMIC encourages policyholders to visit our COVID-19 resource page for important updates and information on the pandemic.