A very old drug is coming back to the fore. The successful testing of hydroxychloroquine for use against the coronavirus in France’s second city Marseille on March 16 created high expectations amid this surging epidemic – especially in light of Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved its use for this purpose
Didier Raoult, director of a university hospital institute in Marseille, explained that he had conducted a clinical trial in which he treated 25 Covid-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine. After six days, he said, only 25 percent of patients who took this drug still had the virus in their body. By contrast, 90 percent of those who had not taken hydroxychloroquine continued to carry the Covid-19.
In the wake of this announcement, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi offered to donate millions of Plaquenil (a trade name for hydroxychloroquine) to continue the tests, while the French government’s spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye hailed the “promising results” and promised to expand clinical trials for this treatment.