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“The EUA had no impact on whether physicians could prescribe the drug off-label, whether patients could receive it off-label,” said Sachs. “It just made it easier for hospital-based providers to obtain the drug from the stockpile and to administer it to their patients.”
No, I think that choice has been taken away from us.
At this point, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are just like any other approved drug in the United States. They may be used in hospital, they may be used in out-patient, they may be used at home — all subject to a doctor’s prescription.
What is less clear — and where Trump and Azar may have a point — is that these results don’t necessarily rule out that hydroxychloroquine might still have some effect in milder cases or for COVID-19 prevention.
Some scientists do think it’s plausible that hydroxychloroquine could still work in these instances — even if there isn’t yet any evidence that it does.
As Nicholas White, a professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health and Mahidol University in Thailand, told us in an email, it’s “[m]uch easier to prevent infections growing in the body” than to get “rid of them once they have grown.”