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Studies show anti-malaria drug effective for 90% of coronavirus patients

A physicians’ organization is urging Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to reverse his ban on two drugs used to treat the coronavirus because studies show they work.$

About nine of 10 patients who have been treated with the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin have responded well, according to studies around the world.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons pointed to a total of 2,333 who have been treated in studies in China, France, South Korea, Algeria and the U.S.

“Of these, 2,137 or 91.6 percent improved clinically. There were 63 deaths, all but 11 in a single retrospective report from the Veterans Administration where the patients were severely ill,” the organization said.

“The antiviral properties of these drugs have been studied since 2003. Particularly when combined with zinc, they hinder viral entry into cells and inhibit replication. They may also prevent overreaction by the immune system, which causes the cytokine storm responsible for much of the damage in severe cases,” the doctors explained.

Hydroxychloroquine has been used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for decades.

Regarding the coronavirus, some studies show a decrease in the number of days when a patient is contagious, a reduction in the need for ventilators and a shortened time to clinical recovery.

“Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020, provide clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in COVID-19, especially when used early,” the organization said.

“Unfortunately, although it is perfectly legal to prescribe drugs for new indications not on the label, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that CQ and HCQ should be used for COVID-19 only in hospitalized patients in the setting of a clinical study if available. Most states are making it difficult for physicians to prescribe or pharmacists to dispense these medications,” the organization reported.

The letter to Ducey states: “Many nations, including Turkey and India, are protecting medical workers and contacts of infected persons prophylactically. According to worldometers.info, deaths per million persons from COVID-19 as of Apr 27 are 167 in the U.S., 33 in Turkey, and 0.6 in India.”

The letter to Ducey was signed by Michael Robb, M.D., of the Arizona chapter of AAPS, and Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the national organization.

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