In a press release March 19, the FDA reported it has been working closely with other government agencies and academic centers that are investigating the use of the malaria drug chloroquine to determine whether it can be used to treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease. The FDA said, since the virus first appeared, it began working directly with partners and innovators to foster the development of medical countermeasures. It has been turning around requests very quickly to assist in initiating clinical trials, the agency noted. “We are extremely encouraged by the interest and promise in the development of the COVID-19-related therapies. We understand and recognize the urgency with which we are all seeking prevention and treatment options for COVID-19. FDA staff are working expeditiously on that front,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
Following news reports stating the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, could worsen coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the FDA has issued a public advisory stating that it “is not aware of scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 symptoms.” The agency said it is looking into the issue further and will provide an update when more information is available.