Swiss Fast-Tracking Hydroxychloroquine Treatments for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Swissmedic fast-tracking Novartis Sandoz Hydroxychloroquine for use in Switzerland
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(Coronavirus Today)

The pharmaceutical company Novartis announced a donation of a 'substantial amount' of hydroxychloroquine to treat hospitalized COVID-19 disease patients in Switzerland.

Switzerland is the second country in the world after the USA, and the first in Europe, to receive a donation of this medication.

The aim of the donation is to enable patients to access to potential treatment while also advancing clinical research, said Novartis in a April 3, 2020, press release.

The new treatment protocol issued by the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases (SSI) includes hydroxychloroquine among the recommended treatments for hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19.

Currently, the approval is valid for the treatment of malaria and autoimmune diseases.

The drug will be used for the treatment under controlled medical supervision.

The Swiss regulatory authority, Swissmedic, responded quickly to the SSI’s treatment recommendation, fast-tracking the procedure to license Novartis / Sandoz’s drug for use on the Swiss market.

“This is a fantastic initiative that aims to help COVID-19 patients around the world, including in Switzerland, by getting a potentially effective drug to them quickly," says Professor Manuel Battegay, Head Physician Infectious Diseases & Hospital Hygiene, University Hospital Basel, who is a key contributor to the nationwide therapeutic concepts for COVID-19 patients involving hydroxychloroquine.

This donation given to Switzerland is part of the commitment made by Novartis to donate 130 million 200 mg doses of hydroxychloroquine globally by the end of May 2020.

In addition, Novartis’s Sandoz division intends to work closely with other manufacturers to boost the production of hydroxychloroquine if required and assist with supplying it to countries around the world.

According to the largest pharmacists association in the USA, a new survey distributed on March 30, 2020, found about 83 percent of independent pharmacists say they should be able to dispense a limited supply of malaria drugs, as long the patient has tested positive ..... and is under a doctor's care.

The malaria drugs include the ingredients, such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.

Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, said in a related press release, "This is a well-established drug that has been in use for decades for malaria as well as other conditions.”

“We know it can be used safely with the proper oversight of a physician and pharmacist."

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic news published by Coronavirus Today.