Sunday, March 29, 2020

Israeli Firm Donates to U.S. Ten Million Pills Touted by Trump for Coronavirus Treatment

More than six million tablets of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by the Israeli drug company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. have arrived in the U.S. and are currently being shipped to national wholesalers to be distributed to American hospitals, a spokesperson for Teva confirmed to Breitbart News.
Ten million tablets in total are slated to arrive in the U.S. within a month as part of Teva’s donation.
The antimalaria drug has been touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for Chinese coronavirus and experts say there is a theoretical basis that it could have a treatment role.  Some doctors who say they have used hydroxychloroquine sulfate in conjunction with other medications have seen positive developments in Chinese coronavirus patients.
Scientists say more trials are needed before determining the possible effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine sulfate in Chinese coronavirus treatment. Still, some doctors are already prescribing the drug on and off-label since they argue the side effects are usually not that strong and there is no time to wait for long-term data.
Hospitals are reportedly seeking to stockpile the drug in anticipation of a flood of coronavirus patients and many pharmacies say they are experiencing a massive number of prescription requests for hydroxychloroquine sulfate.
New York State began clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine on Tuesday along with zithromax and chloroquine.
Teva is one of the world’s largest makers of hydroxychloroquine. A spokesperson confirmed earlier reports that the company would ship six million tablets to wholesalers for distribution to U.S. hospitals by March 31, and more than 10 million within a month.
The spokesperson said six million tablets have already arrived in the U.S. and are being distributed to hospitals by three national wholesalers – ABC, Cardinal and McKesson.
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“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” said Brendan O’Grady, Teva Executive Vice President, North America Commercial. “Immediately upon learning of the potential benefit of hyroxychloroquine, Teva began to assess supply and to urgently acquire additional ingredients to make more product while arranging for all of what we had to be distributed immediately.”
Trump has repeatedly touted the use of hydroxychloroquine treatment combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, hailing the combination at press conferences and in a series of tweets. Some doctors promote the combination of that cocktail with zinc and an antibacterial.
“What do we have to lose?” Trump said at a press conference Saturday when speaking about the drug’s possible use in the current pandemic. “We’re going to find out very shortly whether or not it is going to work. I feel very confident.”
“At my direction, the federal government is working to help obtain large quantities of chloroquine,” Trump said during a press conference earlier this week. “We think tomorrow, pretty early, the hydroxychloroquine and the Z-Pak I think is a combination is looking very, very good and it’s going to be distributed.”
The publicity has led to a surge in demand for hdyroxychloroquine, which is FDA approved as a treatment for malaria.
The drug has the apparent ability to block some cellular processes involved in the replication of viruses, including coronaviruses as a broad group although its exact effectiveness in Chinese coronavirus is still being studied.
In addition to combining it with the azithromycin antibiotic, some doctors are using hydroxychloroquine sulfate in combination with zinc sulfate. The hydroxychloroquine sulfate is thought to serve as a bridge to force open cells, including those susceptible to coronavirus, allowing the zinc to penetrate and help line the cell walls in protection against coronavirus.
The treatment combination is not believed to kill coronavirus. Instead it could protect cellular lining from further penetration.  This could mean that if it does work, the drug cocktail would likely have more success in patients who are in the initial stages of infection and could be less effective in those who are already in critical condition.

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