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Dr. Kunal Saha, President, People for Better Treatment has contended that the use of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to treat COVID-19 is based primarily on “anecdotal evidence” and not on “direct scientific data.”
An Ohio-based Indian origin doctor has moved the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Health for subjecting seriously ill COVID-19 patients to the controversial, unproven, non-specific and potentially toxic “off-label” use of drugs, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin (AZM).
The plea seeks a direction to the government to make necessary changes in the present treatment guidelines for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, which advises the use of a combination of HCQ and AZM.
The petitioner, Dr. Kunal Saha, President of the People for Better Treatment (PBT) has contended that the use of HCQ and AZM for COVID19 treatment is based primarily on “anecdotal evidence” and not on “direct scientific data.”
The plea further states that American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) in USA issued an “extraordinary joint bulletin on 8th April, 2020” with stark warnings for doctors before and during the use of HCQ and AZM in COVID-19, especially for patients with existing cardiac conditions since these drugs have potential to trigger arrythmia (abnormal heartbeat), heart failure and even death.
Further, another massive multi-national (USA, UK, Germany, Spain, Japan, Netherlands) study entitled “Safety of hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with azithromycin, in light of rapid widespread use for COVID-19: a multinational, network cohort and self- 12 controlled case series study” has been placed in the plea.
The study, with direct analysis of more than 300,000 patients’ data published online, underscores the potential but serious dangers and the urgent need to take precautionary measures for any “off-label” use of HCQ and AZM in COVID-19 patients.