Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been at the center of debate in recent weeks over which drugs should be used to treat COVID-19. Neither product has strong evidence to support use for this purpose, and small studies reported to date have either had significant flaws or failed to demonstrate effect. Nonetheless, the president can’t seem to stop pushing them, arguing that patients have nothing to lose. As physicians, bioethicists and drug law experts, we have a responsibility to inject caution here. As public officials and scientists rush to innovate, no one should overlook the critical role of strong regulatory protections in supporting our ability to actually figure out which drugs work against COVID-19. Weakening commitment to science and evidence during this crisis truly would be “a cure worse” than the disease. FDA’s emergency use authorizationThere are no Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs to treat COVID-19, and no product has strong data to support its use against this disease. Nonetheless, on March 28, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for certain hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the strategic national stockpile by various pharmaceutical companies. The EUA was granted exclusively to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority

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