France: This 'Should Not Be Prescribed' for COVID Patients

Country bans use of hydroxychloroquine
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2020 9:55 AM CDT
France: This 'Should Not Be Prescribed' for COVID Patients
This April 6, 2020, file photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(Newser) Another negative headline for hydroxychloroquine: France has banned the use of it as a coronavirus treatment. Politico lays out the timeline leading to the move. After the Lancet on Friday published the results of a worldwide study suggesting that the anti-malaria drug doesn't help patients and may well harm them, Health Minister Olivier Veran over the weekend said he'd be looking at whether France should alter the decree that gave hospitals the authority to administer the drug to COVID-19 patients.

And use was way up: Forbes reports France has seen a 7,000% surge in hydroxychloroquine prescriptions. France 24 reports that on Wednesday the country revoked that decree. The health ministry had this to say in a statement: "Whether [in doctors' offices], in the cities, or in the hospital, this ... should not be prescribed for patients with COVID-19." (The WHO on Monday announced it has suspended a trial of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.)

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