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FDA ends emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID

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The Food and Drug Administration has ended its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, drugs the president touted in the fight against coronavirus. Mr. Trump took a 14-day regimen of hydroxychloroquine himself. 

Based on the FDA's continued review of the available scientific evidence, it determined the drug is "unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses," the FDA said. The agency added that "in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects, the known benefits "no longer outweigh the known and potential risks."

The White House has not yet responded to a request for comment on ending the emergency authorization for the drug.

Mr. Trump touted the use of the anti-malaria drug before extensive scientific study had taken place. It was then revealed that he himself took the drug for 14 days as a preventive measure. At least two aides who work in the White House tested positive for COVID-19 in May. 

A study published earlier this month concluded that the drug is not effective at preventing the disease. As CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explains, controlled clinical trials are the only way to prove if a drug works better than a placebo or other treatment, or if its potential benefits outweigh the risks.

The president took the drug even though his physical shows he has a common form of heart disease. 

Dr. Rick Bright, a vaccine expert, said he was removed from his position at the Health and Human Services Department after he tried to limit COVID-19 treatments touted by Mr. Trump. He filed a whistleblower complaint that says he was removed as director of Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority soon after the publication of an article about chloroquine for which Bright admitted he was a source.

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