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Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine banned in France

The government on Wednesday repealed the derogations authorizing the prescription of hydroxychloroquine against the new coronavirus in hospitals in France, excluding clinical trials, according to a decree published in the Official Journal.

Since the end of March, hydroxychloroquine could be prescribed as an exception to the hospital for patients seriously affected by the new coronavirus, at the collective decision of the doctors.

This drug has divided the scientific community in France, especially since the controversial Professor Didier Raoult, director of the Institut hospitalo-universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée-Infection in Marseille, began to promote and defend his prescription, combined with another antibiotic, in patients with minor form of Covid-19.

Now hydroxychloroquine can no longer be administered in France against the coronavirus to seriously ill patients.

This decision follows an opinion issued on Tuesday by the High Council for Public Health (HCSP), which recommended “not to use hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19” outside clinical trials.

On the same day, the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) announced that it had “initiated” the procedure for suspending “as a precaution” clinical trials evaluating this treatment in patients with coronavirus.

The two opinions follow the publication in the British medical journal “The Lancet” of a study pointing out the effectiveness and the risks of this drug for the patients of the coronavirus.

Through the decree published in the official journal Wednesday, the government also puts an end to the prescription except clinical trials against Covid-19 of the drug associating lopinavir and ritonavir, two anti-retrovirals, pointed out by the ANSM for its cardiac risks.

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