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Bank­ing on hope, swayed by hype? Hy­drox­y­chloro­quine in the time of Covid-19

As coro­n­avirus deaths amassed and al­ready stretched health care sys­tems in Eu­rope, and the Unit­ed States groaned with the added weight of the pan­dem­ic, the FDA and EMA agen­cies adopt­ed con­tra­dic­to­ry tones over the use of a pair of decades-old malar­ia drugs to fight the virus — epit­o­miz­ing the des­per­a­tion to com­bat an un­chart­ed dis­ease.

“This is just an­oth­er ex­am­ple that points to the fact that while EMA and FDA of­ten­times take the same po­si­tion, they al­so take con­trary po­si­tions,” said Pe­ter Pitts, who served as the FDA’s as­so­ciate com­mis­sion­er for ex­ter­nal re­la­tions be­tween 2002 and 2004. “We are ad­dress­ing Covid-19 in a va­ri­ety of ways, and so is the EMA — the cir­cles are con­cen­tric, but they are not iden­ti­cal.”

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Cambridge, MA, USA