Trump presses FDA to fast-track potential
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[March 20, 2020]
By Reuters Staff
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President
Donald Trump on Thursday called on U.S. health regulators to expedite
potential therapies aimed at treating COVID-19 amid the fast-spreading
coronavirus outbreak, saying it could lead to a breakthrough while a
vaccine is still under development.
Kylene Karnuth, a clinical lab scientist, works with coronavirus samples
as researchers begin a trial to see whether malaria treatment
hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19), at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, U.S. March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Craig Lassig
Trump, speaking at a news conference, pointed to efforts on
Gilead Sciences Inc's experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir and
the generic antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, saying he had
called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to streamline
its regulatory approval process.
"We have to remove every barrier," Trump said.
Trials on potential coronavirus therapies are already in the
works, and it was unclear how Trump's call for faster
experimental testing process could further expedite an effective
"It could be a game changer or maybe not," Trump told reporters.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency was working
quickly to examine all possibilities.
"In the short term, we're looking at drugs that are already
approved for other indications," Hahn said.
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