To the editor:
“Scientific studies ... have found that hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19 or show any other benefit for those exposed to COVID.” (David Dreyer, letter, July 9)
My medical credentials are nil, but I have watched countless presentations by doctors who claim efficacy for hydroxychloroquine as an early, at-home treatment option for COVID-19. Some are associated with a group called America’s Frontline Doctors. They could expertly counter “studies arguments.” Another group of doctors, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, advocate ivermectin as an early outpatient option.
Both drugs have been FDA-approved for decades: hydroxychloroquine as an anti-malarial; ivermectin as an anti-parasitic.
Where does truth and virtue lie as to their efficacy with COVID-19?
One guidepost: the appearance or not of conflict-of-interest. I don’t detect conflicts of interest among the hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin physician groups. I’m less sure about some in the vaccine-only camp.
Consider this CNN Business headline: “COVID vaccine profits mint 9 new pharma billionaires” (May 21). That’s a lot of billionaires. Whether hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin work or not, they’ll make no millionaires, much less billionaires. They are off-patent, cost a dollar of so per pill.
Second guidepost: FDA status. Full FDA approval indicates a long safety record. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is what it implies. EUA is granted with a crucial stipulation. Quoting the FDA:
“For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.”
Human nature being what it is, one might be forgiven for wondering if some of the opposition to hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as early treatment options — that is, as “available alternatives” — is less about science than we’d like to believe and more about money than we would hope.