Stop denying early access to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients

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With 3.8 million people infected with Covid-19 and at least 265 thousand (7%) of them dead, the 6-month old Covid-19 pandemic is a global problem that can only be solved by global efforts.

To resolve both the health and economic issues created by this pandemic, infected or exposed individuals have to be treated as early as possible. The preferred way of tackling this (or any other) viral infection is by way of prevention or early intervention. For Covid-19, it has to be done before the uncontrolled virus replication causes a cytokine storm and the subsequent damage (often fatal) to vital organs, such as the lungs, the heart, the kidneys, etc.

The first thing to do is to remove any artificial barriers standing in the way of the early intervention. Overwhelming evidence from around the world supports the effectiveness of chloroquine (CQ) (or the less toxic hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)), with or without the addition of other substances such as zinc sulfate (for anti-viral effect) and/or antibiotics (to treat secondary infections). This evidence includes data on treated patients from doctors and hospitals, as well as statistics from various countries (such as the very low "per capita" Covid-19 infection and death rate in malaria-infested countries) and certain segments of the population, which routinely take CQ/HCQ.

However, in many countries, CQ's and/or HCQ's use for Covid-19 patients is only allowed when administered in hospitals. Unfortunately, using this medication in hospitals means doing so at a very late stage of the disease when the virus has already spread to the lungs and caused deadly cytokine storms - so it's often too late for many patients, especially for those who are old and have other comorbidities. Recent data from doctors (like Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko and Dr. Robin Armstrong in the US or Dr. Didier Raoult in France) and countries (such as South Korea, India, Bahrain, etc.) indicate that prophylactic and early use of CQ/HCQ (including home use) is associated with a substantial reduction of rates of hospitalization and death (up to 75-95%). Unfortunately, barriers still exist in many countries (such as US, Canada, France, UK, Ireland, etc.) that prevent doctors and patients from having an option of early non-hospital use of CQ/HCQ (e.g. at home).

For example, in the United States, the FDA site provides special guidance for Covid-19 patients by specifically warning against treating non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients with CQ/HCQ. It states: "FDA is concerned that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are being used inappropriately to treat non-hospitalized patients for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or to prevent that disease". The FDA specifically "Cautions Against Use Outside of the Hospital Setting or a Clinical Trial Due to Risk of Heart Rhythm Problems" - just for COVID-19, while recommending that "patients taking hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for FDA-approved indications to treat malaria or autoimmune conditions should continue taking their medicine as prescribed" (INCLUDING "at home" use - which is how it is overwhelmingly used by those patients).
CQ/HCQ usage has been proven to be safe enough (including in regard to heart rhythm safety) to treat or even prevent other conditions at home (e.g., the CDC suggests it for travelers to many malaria-infested regions to prevent malaria). Therefore, doctors should also be allowed to prescribe CQ/HCQ early (read: for patients at home) for Covid-19 treatment and prevention. The current Covid-19 fatality rate is 7% in the world (6% in the US) and growing, but it drops substantially when CQ/HCQ is used to treat early or for prevention (see the attached chart demonstrating that effect). Choice of treatment is a decision to be made by a Patient and his Doctor. The physician should be able to prescribe CQ/HCQ early, BEFORE his patient gets to the hospital, especially - for the vulnerable segments of the population. Any bureaucratic obstacles that deny patients and doctors that choice should be removed.

There is no politics here. On the contrary, the goal of this petition is to give doctors a chance to do their work - to save patients' lives. Doctors' ability to accomplish that is currently being compromised by restrictions that forbid prescribing CQ/HCQ early. We hereby request that those restrictions are removed, and human lives are saved.

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