JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Countries that use Hydroxychloroquine may have 80% lower Covid death rates

The  scandal from the Swamp: Too rich to get a cheap drug?

Poor countries all over the world are using Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and it appears to be very useful.

The new HCQTrial suggests that despite the billion dollar budgets and expert staff, people in wealthier countries are dying from Coronavirus at far higher rates than people are in lands where HCQ is being used. And the effect of HCQ apparently holds even after researchers correct for patients being older, heavier, with higher blood pressure, living in high density apartment towers, or with getting tested more.

If word ever gets out that the Politico-Academic-Corporate-Swamp buried useful drugs because they were unprofitable and out of patent, there will be hell to pay.

The HCQTrial was done anonymously by @CovidAnalysis – who say they are PhD researchers, scientists.

You can find our research in journals like Science and Nature. For examples of why we can’t be more specific search for “raoult death threats” or “simone gold fired”. We have little interest in adding to our publication lists, being in the news, or being on TV (we have done all of these things before but feel there are more important things in [...]

Hydroxycholoroquine *may* save half the people who were going to die of Covid

 Good news on the HCQ front

The Henry Ford HCQ study is by no means decisive, but with death rates seemingly halved (sorta, maybe, kinda) — it does show how crazy it is to ban hydroxychloroquine. It also shows it’s low risk, and with all the conflicting studies out there, that there are a lot of ways to stuff things up.

With 10 million cases around the world it seems a bit incongruous that it’s taken so many months to get a trial this basic done with 2,000 patients. When the world only had 10,000 patients in January we already knew that the three drugs that were “fairly effective” were  Remdesivir, Chloroquine and Ritonavir. As far back as February 13, the South Koreans were already recommending hydroxychloroquine and telling us the anti-virals should be “started as soon as possible.” They warned that after ten days, doctors “do not have to start antivirals”. South Korea was the experiment that worked — but we ignored it.

Speaking of slow research, the UK hydroxychloroquine trial that was stopped has restarted again as of three days ago.  This is a trial to see if HCQ can prevent coronavirus in 40,000 healthcare workers.

Perhaps [...]

FDA bans Hydroxycholoquine use in USA, but Yale expert (and many doctors) say it should be used early and asap

The most popular drug with doctors all over the world will seemingly now not even be allowed in the US for Covid related treatment: HCQ No Longer Approved Even a Little for COVID-19

Molly Walker, MedPage

 The FDA rescinded its emergency use authorization (EUA) of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19 patients, citing concerns about efficacy and risks associated with its use, and saying the drug no longer meets the criteria for an EUA, the agency said on Monday.

Moreover, the FDA now says the benefits of the drug “no longer outweigh the potential risks,” citing the serious cardiac adverse events associated with the drug.

Comments underneath reveal just how contested this will be.

It’s a strange situation where patients in many poorer nations are being offered drugs that patients won’t be able to get in the richest nation in the world:

Substantial fractions of physicians treating Covid-19 patients in Europe and elsewhere report use of HCQ+AZ: 72% in Spain, 49% in Italy, 41% in Brazil, 39% in Mexico, 28% in France, 23% in the US, 17% in Germany, 16% in Canada, 13% in the UK (45), much of the non-US use in outpatients.

[...]

Hydroxychloroquine Lancet study of 96,000 Covid patients ignores Zinc, wasn’t randomized, has 12% death rate

A new study came out last night in the Lancet which is being used to call for the end of doctors using Choloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid patients without them being enrolled in a clinical trial. Some of the claims about “no chance of any benefit” seem a bit premature given the limits of this kind of study:

Superficially, it looks large and comprehensive but there are three obvious problems with it –

1. It ignores zinc entirely. There is not even a mention of the essential mineral, despite Chloroquine being a well known zinc ionophone (something that pumps a mineral across a cell membrane) and intracellular zinc being identified as a useful anti-viral.

2. It’s not randomized. If doctors are prescribing these drugs to sicker patients or patients with a certain (unknown) genetic risk factor that selection bias (there we go again) could neutralize the entire result. We just don’t know.

3. These were sick people. The total mortality in this whole group was almost 12%. This trial tells us nothing about using these drugs as preventative measures in mild or moderate cases. It doesn’t tell us whether people had symptoms for [...]

Trump might yet pull off a gamechanger thanks to chloroquine

A High Stakes Game

If the trials of the anti-malarial chloroquine (or variants) work, Trump will get away with all the understatements he said in February.

On twitter the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are known as #TrumpPills. The trials started Tuesday. We don’t know the results but doctors are buying up pharmacy stocks across the US — presumably to protect themselves (hopefully).

As the death tolls mounts, the Democrats are surely planning to put all the Trump quotes like “it’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle” on high rotation leading up to the election. But if the trials of anti-viral agents bring good news, he can reframe the past as if he was betting on that in February. (Perhaps he was?)

Though not many people spend two trillion dollars on a problem that’s disappearing.

Combo of existing drugs shows promise against COVID-19

Most patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone cleared the virus in three to six days, compared to an average of 20 in China — …

The authors advise: “Use this treatment cocktail early, and don’t wait until a patient is on a ventilator in the intensive-care unit.” They also note that [...]

Antiviral drugs – antimalarials and anti HIV may be useful

I’ve said from the start that anti-virals were always going to be more useful to us this year than vaccines, which take so long to test and be ready for use. What we really need are anti-virals which also happen to be preapproved and tested and hopefully in mass production. Chloroquine is cheap too, though I doubt Australian stocks of the drug are very high, or that our genius rulers have arranged more. This may be a godsend in Africa where chloroquine use is already high and may reduce the spread of Covid-19 somewhat.

The UK banned export of chloroquine a few weeks ago. Clearly someone there thought it might be useful.

Wang et al reported on Feb 4th that Chloroquine (anti-Malarial) and Remdesivir (anti HIV) may be useful against Coronavirus. They used lab experiments on cells in glass, which had promise. But “in vitro” doesn’t always mean “in vivo”. So I’ve been waiting for some results on people. Early reports were ambiguous. Recently this was hyped as an “Australian cure” which really just meant the start of a proper trial.

There are links to papers and discussion below but I can’t beat this great description explaining how inside the [...]