ALL NEWS

Trump says FDA will fast track anti-viral treatments for patients with coronavirus

Mar 19, 2020, 11:18 AM
coronavirus treatments...
President Donald Trump takes questions during press briefing with the coronavirus task force at the White House, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. From left, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump and Surgeon General Jerome Adams. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(CNN) — President Donald Trump says he’s pushed the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate barriers to getting therapeutics for coronavirus to patients.

He said a drug currently used as an antimalarial — hydroxychloroquine — would be made available almost immediately to treat coronavirus.

“It’s been around for a long time so we know if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“We have to remove every barrier or a lot of barriers that were unnecessary and they’ve done that to get the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments and we think we have some good answers,” Trump said.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn carefully tempered the President’s remarks regarding his team’s work to develop treatments for coronavirus.

“The FDA is committed to continuing to provide regulatory flexibility and guidance, but let me make one thing clear: the FDA’s responsibility to the American people is to ensure that products are safe and effective,” he said.

He said the FDA is expanding its work regarding potential therapeutic options.

“We need to make sure that this sea of new treatments — we’ll get the right drug to the right patient at the right dosage at the right time,” he said, explaining that the right drug may be available but it may not be in the right dosage, “and that may do more harm than good.”

Part of that, Hahn said, is exploring drugs that are “already approved for other indications,” noting the President’s remarks on chloroquine.

“That’s a drug that the President has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done and to actually see if that benefits patients. And again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information,” he said.

He also explained the process of convalescent plasma, which has to do with isolating blood from those who have survived the coronavirus and have the right immunoglobulins. A concentration of that could treat people infected with the virus.

As for a timeline, Hahn said, “over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have more information that we’re really pushing hard to try to accelerate… and that will be a bridge to other therapies that will take us three to six months to develop. And this is a continuous process — there is no beginning and end.”

He also said there is a vaccine trial currently being performed that is expected to take “12 months.”

Early evidence from human cells suggests that chloroquine — which is used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases — may have some activity against the novel coronavirus. Doctors in China, the US and other countries have used the drug experimentally in Covid-19 patients, but there is not yet sufficient clinical evidence that it’s effective in humans.

The drug, generally considered to be safe for most patients, can have side effects including seizures, nausea, vomiting, deafness, vision changes and low blood pressure.

When asked about chloroquine last month, Dr. Janet Diaz of the World Health Organization said “there is no proof that that is an effective treatment at this time. We recommend that therapeutics be tested under ethically approved clinical trials to show efficacy and safety.”

At the time, she said the drugs that were being prioritized by WHO’s research and development efforts were antivirals, a separate type of drug that includes remdesivir, which is also the focus of clinical trials in China and the US.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Cleanup of a large oil spill continued Thursday on northbound I-15 near Bluffdale, Utah. The oil or...
Aimee Schaeffer and Simone Seikaly

Multiple factors combined to stop NB-15 traffic overnight

An hours-long delay on northbound I-15 began with a jackknifed Amazon truck and thousands of oil spilled onto the freeway.
16 hours ago
police car at scene of tooele shooting...
Samantha Herrera

Residents shelter-in-place in Tooele as SWAT situation unfolds

The city is asking people to avoid the area of Deer Hollow and advised that anyone sheltering in place stay in their basements.
16 hours ago
people are pictured at city creek, shopping habits can be indicative of financial infidelity...
Samantha Herrera

Identifying financial infidelity and learning how to curb it

Some signs of financial infidelity are if you feel like you're spending behind your partner's back and if it's a recurring pattern.
16 hours ago
Three wildlife officers on board a state helicopter were uninjured when the helicopter crashed on L...
Simone Seikaly

Natural Resources helicopter crashes in San Juan County, no injuries

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office was alerted to the crash by a witness who saw a metallic blue helicopter go down in the La Sal Mountains.
16 hours ago
county library...
Elizabeth Weiler

Members of the council explain the Salt Lake County library tax

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Council is approving a budget that includes a property tax increase for the Salt Lake County library system.  The Salt Lake County Library is funded through property taxes paid by Salt Lake County residents. Over 60% of people have library cards according to Salt Lake County government.  […]
16 hours ago
SafeUT app...
Adam Small

SafeUT reaches 1 million messages for first the time

SafeUT worked with first responders to conduct 349 life-saving interventions in 2022. A 17% increase from the previous year.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Trump says FDA will fast track anti-viral treatments for patients with coronavirus