SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US stockpile stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine

The federal government is stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine now that the US Food and Drug Administration has revoked permission for the drug...

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 3:23 AM

The federal government is stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine now that the US Food and Drug Administration has revoked permission for the drug to be distributed to treat coronavirus patients.

The government started stockpiling donated hydroxychloroquine in late March, after President Trump touted it as "very encouraging" and "very powerful" and a "game-changer."

But Monday, the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization to use the drug to treat Covid-19, saying there was "no reason to believe" the drug was effective against the virus, and that it increased the risk of side effects, including heart problems.

That leaves the Strategic National Stockpile with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, plus another 2 million doses of chloroquine, a related drug donated by Bayer, according to Carol Danko, a spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Many public health experts point to all of this as an unfortunate chapter in the history of the pandemic thus far.

"Nationally, we put a great emphasis on one drug, hydroxychloroquine," said David Holtgrave, the dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, who co-authored a study of the drug as a treatment for coronavirus. "I worry that history will judge this as having over-invested in one treatment pathway as opposed to looking more broadly at a larger number of treatment candidates."

Before the FDA revoked its authorization, the stockpile had already distributed 31 million doses. Novartis and Mylan donated doses of the drug to the stockpile.

"HHS is working with the companies that donated the product to determine the available options for the product that remains in the Strategic National Stockpile," Danko wrote in a statement to CNN.

Hydroxychloroquine has been used for many years to treat diseases such as malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. After President Trump started touting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19, patients with those illnesses reported having trouble finding the drug.

The news about the leftover doses was first reported in The New York Times.

Last month, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn wrote that his agency's decision to authorize hydroxychloroquine in March "was based on evaluation of the EUA criteria and the scientific evidence available at that time."

However, many infectious disease experts, including those who've studied the drug for coronavirus, say there was never any evidence that the drug worked for the virus.

In March, Trump tweeted that a French study showed hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin "have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine." He continued to be a cheerleader for the drug for several months, and even said he took it himself after being exposed to staffers with the virus.

That French study had so many problems that the society that published it has backed away from it.

First, the study didn't conclude that the drug worked for Covid patients -- just that it decreased the amount of the virus found in the nose and throat.

Also, it was a very small study -- just 20 patients -- and it ignored patients who took hydroxychloroquine and died or ended up in the intensive care unit.

After complaints about the study, the International Study of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, which published the study in its medical journal, concluded that the study "does not meet the Society's expected standard."

Since then, two major studies have found that the drug is ineffective against coronavirus. One of the studies, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also showed that Covid patients who took the drug were more than twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 10230

Reported Deaths: 215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah248869
Marion164848
Washington158620
Clackamas84525
Umatilla7576
Union3561
Lincoln3464
Deschutes2190
Lane2183
Malheur2061
Polk15912
Linn1579
Jackson1490
Yamhill1398
Jefferson1330
Klamath1301
Morrow1021
Benton945
Hood River930
Wasco911
Josephine551
Clatsop510
Douglas500
Coos420
Columbia390
Lake210
Tillamook140
Crook130
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker50
Sherman30
Gilliam10
Grant10
Harney10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 264681

Reported Deaths: 6373
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1150243487
Riverside19450479
Orange16854366
San Diego16726387
San Bernardino14922269
Imperial7039114
Alameda6855140
Fresno611077
Santa Clara5273161
Kern524582
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento423669
San Francisco377650
Contra Costa366281
San Mateo3536108
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271921
Stanislaus266045
Kings263432
Monterey206415
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer87711
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo67726
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4573
Napa3764
San Benito2732
Sutter2523
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1545
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Glenn1220
Yuba1061
Tehama881
Lake871
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono451
Tuolumne430
Inyo331
Amador310
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 78°
Brookings
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 60°
Crater Lake
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 79°
Grants Pass
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 72°
Klamath Falls
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 79°
Windy and bright Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, July 6 afternoon weather

Image

Monday, July 6 morning weather

Image

Sunday, July 5 evening weather

Image

Golf Tip of the Week: Oak Knoll Golf Course

Image

Saturday, July 5 morning weather

Image

Saturday, July 4 evening weather

Image

Saturday, July 4 morning weather

Image

Jessica Worden, Taroko Asian Tapas Bar

Image

Friday, July 3rd Evening Weather

Image

Economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic