Covid-19 Treatments

Health
French professor faces ethics complaint over controversial Covid-19 statements
French professor faces ethics complaint over controversial Covid-19 statements
Credit: Via Twitter

The controversial French professor who repeatedly defended the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to help beat the coronavirus has been targeted by an ethics complaint that could see him face sanctions or barred from practicing, a medical association said Thursday.

The Marseille-based Didier Raoult is accused in the complaint by medical peers of spreading false information about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.

Business • Health Care
F.D.A. issues emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment
F.D.A. issues emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment
Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment as the "known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product." Even before the approval, around 70,000 people had been treated with convalescent plasma.

President Trump, after harshly criticising the speed of approval of treatments and vaccines, was pleased with the fast decision. "Today I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives. Today's action will dramatically increase access to this treatment," so the President.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian mayor suggests Covid-19 treatment using rectal ozone application
Volnei Morastoni
Volnei Morastoni Credit: Facebook Reproduction

The mayor of the Brazilian city of Itajaí, Volnei Morastoni, said Monday the city would offer rectal ozone therapy for patients with Covid-19.

The city already provides ivermectin and camphor as preventive options. Also, the antibiotic azithromycin is offered as a treatment for infected patients.

According to the mayor, who is also a doctor, ozone should be applied to the anus of symptomatic patients of Covid-19, a few minutes a day, in different sessions. The statement was broadcast during a Facebook Live from the city hall.

"It is a simple, quick application, of two, three minutes a day. It will probably be a rectal application, which is very easy, very fast, [with] a thin catheter and this gives an excellent result, [...] it helps very much in the positive cases of coronavirus "

The treatment has no proven effectiveness against the new coronavirus.

Business • Health Care
EU secures 30,000 doses of Covid-19 drug
Remdesivir
Remdesivir Credit: Dimitri Karastelev

Despite uncertainties in the effectiveness of treatment with Remdesivir, the European Commission has secured from US-based Gilead 30,000 doses on a 63 million contract.
Remdesivir is the first drug to be approved in the European Union for the treatment of Covid-19.

Health
21 existing drugs identified that could possibly treat Covid-19, study
21 existing drugs identified that could possibly treat Covid-19, study
Credit: unsplash.com/ThisisEngineering RAEng

A global team of scientists has researched through one of the largest databases for existing drugs and identified 21 potential substances that could potentially safely induce an antiviral reaction in patients against SARS-CoV-2.

Out of these four substances work synergistically with the already for Covid-19 approved remdesivir drug. Further studies and research are still underway.

Health
Brazilian study shows that hydroxychloroquine has no effect against Covid-19
Brazilian study shows that hydroxychloroquine has no effect against Covid-19
Credit: Marcelo Casal/Agencia Brasil

A new study concluded that among patients hospitalised with mild-to-moderate Covid-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care. The study was conducted by Brazilian researchers and published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

President Jair Bolsonaro advocates the drug as a form of treatment for Covid-19.

Science • Medicine
Gilead announces start of clinical testing for an inhaled solution of Remdesivir
Gilead announces start of clinical testing for an inhaled solution of Remdesivir
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. announced that trials for its inhaled solution of Remdesivir have begun. The randomised, placebo-controlled trial will be tested on 60 healthy patients between the ages of 18-45 to determine the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the drug.

"With promising data emerging from the randomized, clinical trials of intravenous remdesivir administered to hospitalized patients, it became clear that efforts were needed to investigate the drug’s potential in the outpatient setting. Significant research efforts have been undertaken to deliver remdesivir in an inhaled, nebulized format," so Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merdad Parsey.

Politics • American • Brazil
Bolsonaro watered-down law that protects indigenous people against Covid-19
Bolsonaro watered-down law that protects indigenous people against Covid-19

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro published, with vetoes, on Wednesday a new law aimed at protecting indigenous communities against Covid-19.

Among the points were those assuring access to drinking water, free distribution of hygiene products like soap and toothpaste, cleaning and disinfection materials for indigenous communities and mandatory emergency funds for indigenous people’s health.

Bolsonaro also removed articles regarding the emergency provision of additional hospital beds and intensive care units to indigenous people, and the acquisition of ventilators and blood oxygenation machines were also turned down.

In a blog post, the Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), stated: "that indigenous leaders and organizations do not bend to government discourse and do not allow a government that is openly anti-indigenous to weaken and disunity the struggle that until now, indigenous peoples, with rare exceptions, have wisely managed to carry on."

Politics • American • US
Remdesivir out of stock as United States buy world wide supplies
Remdesivir out of stock as United States buy world wide supplies
Credit: unsplash.com/Christina Victoria Craft

One of the two drugs that have been approved for the treatment of Covid-19, Remedesivir, has been bought up by the United States. For the next three months, there will most likely be almost no supply for other countries. According to Dr Andrew Hill from Liverpool University, the United States "got access to most of the drug supply" of Remdesivir. Over 500,000 doses have been bought.

Alex Azar, the United States health and human services secretary has stated that "to the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs Remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people".

Health
Covid-19 breakthrough: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug
Dexamethasone
Dexamethasone Credit: melvil (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Researchers in the United Kingdom said they have the first evidence that a drug can improve Covid-19 survival.

The effect of dexamethasone was most striking among critically ill patients on ventilators. Those who were receiving oxygen therapy but were not on ventilators also saw improvement: their risk of dying was reduced by 20%.

Shortly after the results were released, the UK government announced that it had immediately authorised use of dexamethasone for patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who required oxygen, including those on ventilators.

Politics • American • US
Approval of malaria drugs as Covid-19 treatment revoked in the US

The Unites States Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has announced that they will revoke the emergency authorization for the usage of two malaria drugs as treatment for Covid-19. In the statement the F.D.A. states that the drugs are "unlikely to produce an antiviral effect".

Health
Brazil to receive 2m Hydroxychloroquine doses from U.S.

According to a statement by the White House, the U.S. has sent two million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil. Both Brazil and the U.S. are testing whether the drug is safe and effective for Covid-19 treatment.

Science • Medicine
France stops the use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatment

France has revoked a decree that authorised the usage of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatments. The move comes after the World Health Organization suspended a global drug trial due to safety concerns. Furthermore, a study by the British medical journal The Lancet found the drug to increase mortality rates and frequency of irregular heartbeats in patients.

Health
WHO suspends clinical test for malaria drug hydroxychloroquine
WHO suspends clinical test for malaria drug hydroxychloroquine
Credit: Marcelo Casal/Agencia Brasil

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped a clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine due to safety concerns after a paper published in The Lancet showed that people taking the drug were at higher risk of death and heart problems than those that were not.

During a news briefing WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated "This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in Covid-19,"

Health
Study suggests that plasma transfusions from Covid-19 survivors could boost survival rates of other patients

A study conducted by the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York suggests that a blood transfusion from patients that previously had recovered from Covid-19 could improve the survival rates of other patients. The study compares the health of 39 patients that had received the transfusion with 39 patients who didn't and was published on medRxiv in a preprint state - meaning that it still has to undergo peer-review by other researchers. The study also hasn't been randomized, but according to the researchers the study "does show promise that convalescent plasma is effective" as the research is still going on.

Health
Covid-19: New study links hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a greater risk of death

According to a new study published in The Lancet Covid-19 patients with a severe illness caused by the new coronavirus treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die or develop dangerous heart arrhythmias.

"This is the first large-scale study to find statistically robust evidence that treatment with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine does not benefit patients with COVID-19," co-author Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, executive director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston noted in a press release.

Politics • American • US
Trump states he's taking the controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine

On Monday, Trump stated that he has been taking Hydroxychloroquine as a "preventive measure". The drug, which has been used for preventing or treating malaria, has not shown compelling evidence to suggest it's an effective preventive medication in regards to Covid-19. Many health experts, including Dr Rick Bright who recently was fired by the Trump administration, have been warning of the drug's potential health hazards and have now again raised concerns about the president's handling of the drug.

Trump said he's taking the drug because "I think I hear very good things,” and that he gets "a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy".

Science • Medicine
Johnson & Johnson aiming to produce 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021

Johnson & Johnson, multinational medical and pharmaceutical corporation, said in a statement on Sunday that they "aim to deliver 1 billion (Covid-19) vaccines next year". According to Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, the company is starting clinical trials in September and is planning to upscale their manufacturing to be able to start producing the vaccine late this year. Stoffel added “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it will depend on the authorities – the FDA and others – to decide whether it can be used earlier, before efficacy data are available".

Health
Hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit in coronavirus study

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found no evidence of benefit from using Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus infection.

The study that involved 1,376 patients claims the drug did not lower the risk of dying or needing a breathing tube.

Science • Medicine
Remdesivir trial results show efficacy in Covid-19 treatment

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been running a trial of Remdesivir on 1,063 randomly assigned patients hospitalised with Covid-19. The group who got the Remdesivir treatment showed a median time of recovery of 11 days, while those who got a placebo averaged on a 15 day recovery. Mortality rate was 8% for the Remdesivir group and 11.6% for the placebo group.