Regardless of the outcome, the recent experience with the hydroxychloroquine shortage should remind us to critically appraise the medical literature. Had the limitations of the study by Gautret et al. been more clearly articulated by the authors themselves or by the medical community at large, the current shortage may have been averted. It should also remind us that our patients will face new and unforeseeable challenges in the months to come. Despite the hurdles of telemedicine and social-distancing-rheumatology, we must find ways to help them through this crisis.
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Michael Putman, MD (@EBRheum), is a clinical instructor of medicine at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and a member of the ACR’s Fellows-in-Training Subcommittee. He is pursuing large vessel vasculitis research on a T32 training grant.
- Gautret P, Lagier J-C, Parola P, et al. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: Results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Mar 20;105949. (Online ahead of print)
- Wang M, Cao R, Zhang L, et al. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Res. 2020 Mar;30(3):269–271.
- Cortegiani A, Ingoglia G, Ippolito M, et al. A systematic review on the efficacy and safety of chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. J Crit Care. 2020 Mar 10. (Online ahead of print)
- Colson P, Rolain JM, Raoult D. Chloroquine for the 2019 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Mar;55(3):105923.
- Chen J, Liu D, Liu L, et al. A pilot study of hydroxychloroquine in treatment of patients with common coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). J Zhejiang Univ (Med Sci). 2020;49(1). doi:10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2020.03.03
Editor’s note: The ACR offers recommendations regarding the allocation of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) during the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations regarding the allocation of IL-1 and IL-6 and JAK antagonists during the pandemic. All recommendations are based on current knowledge and are subject to revision as circumstances evolve.