What price chloroquine?

In “Four notes on COVID-19” I quoted from a just-published study on the possible use of chloroquine as a virus therapy or prophylactic. Christine Dolan includes it among the drugs that may offer relief in her roundup for Just the News. She reports:

Although chloroquine is an anti-malaria prophylaxis, and hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic form of chloroquine and known to be administered to those with rheumatic diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, patients inflicted with COVID-19 are responding to these drugs.

In December 2019, China’s Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province and Health Commission of Guangdong Province reached an experts’ consensus and recommended “chloroquine phosphate tablet, 500 milligrams twice daily for 10 days for patients diagnosed as mild, moderate and severe cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia and without contraindications to chloroquine.”

More than 20 clinical studies were launched across several Chinese hospitals. Doctors found superior positive responses in over 100 patients who received chloroquine, including reduction in pneumonia. South Korea is also conducting studies on chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and zinc.

The Daily Mail also asks: Have they found a cure for the coronavirus? Australian researchers claim two existing drugs could ‘cure’ COVID-19 after patients they tested responded ‘very well’ to treatment.” Chloroquine is one of the two drugs discussed in the Daily Mail article.

Power Line reader Peter Rice provides his own testimony: “As for Chloroquine, I took it (then in the form of a large orange pill) every Monday for 12 months in Vietnam and for one month after. The only impact for me was diarrhea every Tuesday and not getting Malaria in a Malaria zone.”

Back to China. My friend Brian Sullivan points me to the original study reporting out the Chinese findings: “Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies.” Brian offers this question to some enterprising reporter attending the daily White House briefing: “Reports from South Korea, Australia, and China, suggest several existing drugs may be effective coronavirus treatments. These include the anti-malarial drug chloroquine phosphate and the HIV drug combination Kaletra. What is the government doing to investigate the potential effectiveness of these drugs?”

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