Ron Johnson Pushes Controversial Drugs
Spearheads campaign urging Trump to lift restrictions on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine use for COVID-19.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) tweeted on Friday that he is spearheading a campaign to gather signatures from doctors on a letter urging President Donald Trump to remove Federal Drug Administration restrictions on the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine limiting their use to “certain hospitalized patients”.
The letter, signed by 776 physicians as of Friday, according to Johnson, who is still collecting additional signatures, also calls on Trump to issue an executive order prohibiting governors from “arbitrarily restricting hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to only hospitalized patients,” and prohibiting state medical boards and state pharmacy boards from threatening disciplinary action against doctors who prescribe the drug for “off-label” use by COVID-19 patients as well as “at-risk or exposed persons.”
Trump has repeatedly promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, despite the lack of medical evidence that the drug is effective against the virus.
“When World Health Organization and U.S. academic experts say there is ‘no evidence that any medicine can prevent or cure’ COVID-19, they correctly mean that we don’t yet have a randomized, placebo-controlled, doubleblind clinical trial (RCT),” the letter notes. “But designing, setting up, conducting, and analyzing any RCT takes many months or years.”
“We can’t wait months for a completed RCT or a vaccine,” the letter adds. “People are dying every day.”
Among the objections to the deregulation of hydroxychloroquine from physicians and public health officials are the drug’s connection with cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, which could put patients at risk of death, especially in an outpatient setting. Patients who have long been taking the drug for lupus and arthritis are also facing shortages, after President Trump began promoting the use of the drug to treat coronavirus, prompting Sen. Elizabeth Warren to call on the administration to secure supplies for longtime patients, Politico reports.
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
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