The US Food and Drug Administration does not practice medicine. The government’s website defines the FDA as:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA also provides accurate, science-based health information to the public.
In the interest of public health (and to protect itself against legal repercussions) it follows cumbersome bureaucratic processes so it can issue guidance on the safety, efficacy and security of the drugs it tests. To date, its guidance on the use of hydroxychloroquine is to avoid it while some studies “suggest a benefit” from the drug in certain circumstances.
A Tennessee physician has a message for COVID-19 patients: Use hydroxychloroquine “if you can find a doctor with guts enough to prescribe it.”
Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn said some studies “suggest a benefit” to using the drug on COVID-19, despite the fact that the government agency issued guidance stating the use of the drug should be avoided unless it’s being studied in a clinical trial or for hospital use. In a radio interview, Hahn reiterated the fact that doctors are free to prescribe the drug “off label,” and that the FDA “does not regulate the practice of medicine.”
Dr. Tom Rogers is one of those physicians who prescribe hydroxychloroquine to his COVID-19 patients. He told CBN News he personally has found the drug to be a “highly effective” way to treat the virus, provided the drug is prescribed in the early stages of the disease and is combined with the antibiotic azithromycin and a zinc supplement.
“It’s a very controversial, kind of ‘Trump drug’,” he told CBN News. “There were initially a bunch of studies that said it worked, and then the powers that be came out with some other studies that said it didn’t work. But there are many, many studies and many doctors who I’ve talked to personally, on the front lines that use it all the time and it works.”
He continued, “You have to use it very early,” he said. “The studies that said it didn’t work, those were hospitalized patients that were very sick.”
He said possible negative consequences of taking hydroxychloroquine are over-blown. “They’re claiming it causes cardiac arrhythmia, which is rare,” he says. “I’ve never seen that. I’ve talked to rheumatologists who’ve used it for decades, they’ve never seen it.”
Dr. Rogers says he prefers to prescribe the hydroxychloroquine cocktail to patients with symptoms such as fever, aches, loss of taste or smell, and believes it can prevent a patient from going to the hospital.
In addition to hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin and zinc, Dr. Rogers said there are other ways patients in the early stages of COVID-19 can avoid landing in the hospital.
Those include the inhaled steroid Budesonide combined with azithromycin and zinc. Budesonide is a common asthma drug he prescribes to patients who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild respiratory symptoms such as “cough, wheezing or shortness of breath that’s not acute yet.”
Still, neither hydroxychloroquine nor budesonide is recommended by the FDA to treat COVID-19 because their effectiveness has not been proven in randomized, controlled studies, which is the standard requirement for FDA approval.