TUCSON, Ariz., July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A just published peer-reviewed study from Henry Ford Health System showed that the death rate of hospitalized patients who received hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was cut in half, and there were no serious heart abnormalities.
The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) stated that these results should encourage widespread early use of this long-established drug to fight COVID-19.
"HCQ impressively improved survival. In contrast, the government-favored drug remdesivir has only been shown to decrease survivors' hospital stay by four days, with no demonstrable improvement in survival," notes AAPS.
Even before the Henry Ford study, there was substantial evidence of HCQ benefit, especially when used very early in out-patients in combination with zinc, in a compilation of studies prior to April 20, a more recent compilation, and a preprint by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko and colleagues released July 3. Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch, M.D., wrote that HCQ is an "early outpatient treatment of symptomatic, high-risk Covid-19 patients that should be ramped-up immediately as key to the pandemic crisis."
Based on flawed studies and pronouncements from government officials, doctors have hesitated to use HCQ because of claimed lack of proof of efficacy, or purported danger of cardiac arrhythmias. Two studies, in Lancet and NEJM, were retracted because of questionable data. A study from Brazil, published in JAMA, is under investigation because researchers were giving patients lethal doses of chloroquine.
Researchers have been using HCQ too late, when patients may already have COVID-caused heart damage, and overdosing patients, states AAPS.
"If HCQ saves half the patients who would have died in hospital, then withholding HCQ is causing tens of thousands of preventable deaths," states AAPS.
"The federal government has agreed to buy 500,000 doses of remdesivir at more than $3,000 per course of treatment, without proof that it will save lives. Why won't it release HCQ, which costs about $20 per course of treatment, from the Strategic National Stockpile, and stop prohibiting or discouraging its use?" asks AAPS.
"Patients are dying needlessly every day."
AAPS has filed for a preliminary injunction to stop interference by the FDA with patient access to HCQ, and to prevent the government from wasting the HCQ which was donated to its stockpile. This lawsuit is pending in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, AAPS v. FDA, et al., 20-cv-493.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has represented physicians of all specialties in all states since 1943. The AAPS motto is omnia pro aegroto, meaning everything for the patient.
SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)