What is hydroxychloroquine?
“Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that is primarily used to treat malaria, arthritis and lupus, among other diseases.
It is available in tablets of 200 milligrams and is sold under the brand name Plaquenil in addition to its generic version.
According to the CDC, it can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages and can also be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Is Hydroxychloroquine Risky?
Not according to the CDC.
While overdoses have occurred, similar to many other prescribed drugs, it is a regularly-prescribed treatment to combate malaria for travelers:
When traveling, the CDC recommends that adults and children should take one dose of hydroxychloroquine a week starting at least 1 week before traveling to their destination. They should take one dose a week while there, and for 4 consecutive weeks after leaving.
The weekly dosage recommendation for adults is 400 milligrams. For children, parents can consult their doctor who will prescribe dosage based on a child’s weight. The child’s dose should not exceed the adult dose a week.
Initial Reports From Doctors in the Field
Almost immediately, doctors around the world, and especially in France, began to recognize that hydroxychloroquine seemed to be working on their Covid patients.
In one poll that surveyed 6,227 physicians in 30 countries, about 37 percent (2,300 doctors) indicated:
“hydroxychloroquine (is) the best treatment for the novel coronavirus.”
And the anecdotal recommendations from specific doctors were fast and furious in late March and early April:
In New York, Dr. Mohammud Alam, an infectious disease specialist affiliated with Plainview Hospital, said 81 percent of infected covid patients he treated at three Long Island nursing homes recovered from the contagion.
In New Jersey, Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of The Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health, said on “The Ingraham Angle” that he is optimistic about the use of antimalarial medications and antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients, calling it “a game-changer.” He pointed out that not a single COVID-19 patient of his that has been on the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin regimen for five days or more has had to be intubated.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Anthony Cardillo said he has seen very promising results when prescribing hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc for the most severely-ill COVID-19 patients. “Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free,” Cardillo told Eyewitness News. “So clinically I am seeing a resolution.”
In fact, the initial anecdotal results were so clear that doctors in Spain regularly made it part of their regimen for Covid patients.
The Undoing of Hydroxychloroquine
When I first heard of hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness, I remember remarking to a relative that “the pharmaceutical companies are not going to like that! An effective treatment will get in their way of marketing a vaccine.”
Although I made the remark, I hoped for the best, and hoped that our medical professionals and doctors would win against political motivations to downplay the (obvious) effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, because Donald Trump brought it up during a press conference, and financial conflicts of interest.
Early on, after China indicated that the common-sense regimen of hyper-doses of vitamin C seemed to work in their country, we consistently saw the mainstream media downplay effective treatments, including that of zinc, which also showed tremendous initial promise.
Instead, what we witnessed was the complete takeover of our healthcare apparatus to not only downplay the effectiveness of any treatment, but to step between doctors and patients, to actually prevent doctors from prescribing these therapies – even if they had no obvious harmful side-effects.
We even witnessed the FBI being made into a pawn in this battle, raiding a doctor’s office in Michigan that was providing vitamin C intravenously to patients.
And yet I still held out hope that the powerful interests getting in the way of therapies would not stop the most obvious and easy-to-prove beneficial drug: hydroxychloroquine.
The Studies with Peculiar Sponsors
Why would the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsor a study into hydroxychloroquine, you ask?
It’s the concept of conflict of interest, along with ‘controlled opposition’. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation decided to sponsor a study in the UK at the University of Oxford that was looking at hydroxychloroquine. Note that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are investors in big pharma – especially the companies that produce vaccines.
the Gates Foundation’s support of the GAVI Alliance has incentivized manufacturers to increase production of specific vaccines. These incentives have resulted in payments of over $1 billion to Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Some reporters have described this arrangement as “a leg-up for pharmaceutical companies ‘seeking to expand into faster-growing, lower-income countries.’” However, as the German report notes, the non-governmental organization Doctors without Borders (MSF) has questioned the GAVI Alliance’s overall impact on vaccine affordability, stating that “the cost to fully immunize a child was 68 times more expensive in 2014 than it was in 2001.”
All hydroxychloroquine Studies Suspended: May 27th, 2020.
And today, the powerful special interests – that have no interest in effective therapies – were able to find a way to stop all studies on hydroxychloroquine as a therapy for Covid.
What was their excuse?
The reason quoted in most of the news sources is a “Lancet study” that concluded that not only was hydroxychloroquine not effective, but that patients were actually worse off with it, and some ended up dying at rates greater than the group that didn’t take hydroxychloroquine.
The oft-quoted “Lancet Study”
The authors of the Lancet study31180-6/fulltext) concluded:
“Treatment with any combination of the four drugs was associated with a higher risk of death than seen in 81,000 patients who didn’t receive them.”
The authors of the study used field data collected from hundreds of hospitals, and, according to the authors, they (somehow?) were able to effectively control for:
“…age, sex, race or ethnicity, underlying comorbidities, and disease severity at baseline”
All that despite the fact that only historical data from many different data sources and countries – all with varying degrees of how to report these other factors – was used.
Even the study’s authors acknowledged:
“observational studies cannot fully account for unmeasured confounding factors…”
So why have my suspicions been raised?
As a patient’s health takes a turn for the worse, both patients and doctors are more willing to ‘try something different or new’, and I’m willing to bet that hydroxychloroquine is on that list.
So my question is; were the two groups – those that didn’t receive and those that did – equivalent groups? Or has science once again fallen prey to both political and financial motivations for cratering potential therapies in favor of expensive research into something that has never been successfully done in the past; creation of a vaccine for a Coronavirus strain?
One of the Bloomberg articles I read while researching this topic proudly touted that a patented drug called Remdesivir “reduced patients’ recovery time from an average of 15 days to 11 days.”
So I decided to look up how much Remdesivir costs, and how profit-motivated may have been the company that sponsored that study. I found that Remdesivir costs $9.32 to make, and that Gilead “may” charge up to $4,500 “per treatment”.
Unfortunately, there’s no money to be made with hydroxychloroquine.
According to Good RX, the lowest price for the most common version of hydroxychloroquine is around $20.41 for 60 200 milligram tablets.
Think for yourself: how has the media reacted to any potential good news about Covid, including, but not limited to:
Vitamin C Zinc hydroxychloroquine sunlight heat
In fact, the only therapy that the media hasn’t attacked yet on the basis if concern for the safety of the patient is Remdesivir, whose profit margins exceed that of crack cocaine.
As public taxpayers and obvious stakeholders in the success of any potential therapy for Covid19, we deserve more effort than “well, one study indicated that it may not be effective, so I guess we’ll just throw it in the trash completely.”
My One Ask of You
Use your own critical thinking and decide for yourself how convenient the Lancet study was for the multi-billion-dollar vaccine and pharmaceutical industry.