Hydroxychloriquine has proved ineffective as a treatment for covid-19. In fact, it has had dire side effects in some cases. And yet Trump has been desperately selling it to his hapless followers. The method behind his madness may arise from the fact that his administration purchased 29 million doses of the drug, mostly from India.
While denying he was using it but saying he’d be willing to, Vice President Mike Pence committed some other lies today about hydroxychloroquine sulfate, the drug Trump claims he is taking to prevent COVID-19.
Asked during the Fox interview if he had concerns about the message Trump’s use of the drug sends, Pence noted that the FDA approved the off-label use of the drug so physicians could prescribe it if they deemed it appropriate.
First of all, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t “approve” drugs for off-label use. That’s an oxymoron. Here’s the FDA’s own explainer on the subject:
When you are prescribed a drug for its approved use, you can be sure:
That FDA has conducted a careful evaluation of its benefits and risks for that use.
The decision to use the drug is supported by strong scientific data.
There is approved drug labeling for healthcare providers on how to use the drug safely and effectively for that use…
If you and your healthcare provider decide to use an approved drug for an unapproved use to treat your disease or medical condition, remember that FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.
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