France clamps down on hydroxychloroquine use for COVID-19

Frances flirtation with hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus fix is coming to an end.

The countrys public health agency advised Tuesday against using hydroxychloroquine outside of clinical trials. Shortly after that, the national medicines regulator suspended its use in clinical trials.

The moves follow the Lancets publication on Friday of a large observational study casting doubt on the benefit of hydroxychloroquine and another malaria drug, chloroquine, for COVID-19 patients. It also found an increased risk of heart problems and death.

Health Minister Olivier Véran had asked the National Council for Public Health (HCSP) over the weekend to consider whether he should revise Frances emergency use authorization to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Furthermore, the drugs regulator ANSM announced Tuesday that new patients should not be enrolled in the 16 clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine currently underway in France.

That echoes the World Health Organizations announcement Monday that it would temporarily suspend the hydroxychloroquine part of its global Solidarity trial amid a safety review.

Europes hype around hydroxychloroquine originated in France, where a small, non-randomized trial in the Marseille clinic of


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