France health minister: Limits on malaria drugPTI | Paris | Updated: 23-05-2020 20:36 IST | Created: 23-05-2020 20:32 IST
France's health minister wants to limit the use of a popular malaria drug as a coronavirus treatment after a new study found it ineffective and warned of increased health risks. Olivier Veran tweeted Saturday that he asked France's public health council to draft new rules for prescribing hydroxychloroquine and other treatments within 48 hours.
He specifically cited a study of 100,000 patients worldwide, published Friday in the Lancet, saying hydroxychloroquine and related drug chloroquine were ineffective against the virus and were tied to a greater risk of death and heart rhythm problems. Prominent French virologist Dr Didier Raoult drew international attention – including from U.S. President Donald Trump – for his research early in the pandemic suggesting hydroxychloroquine reduced virus symptoms. Raoult's office didn't comment on the minister's move.
France included the drug in a trial of multiple treatments and allowed its use for hospitalized patients.