South Dakota will be the first state to test hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus in a statewide clinical trial, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced Monday according to Fox Business.
“I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations,” Noem said, according to Fox Business.
While there is currently no proven treatment for the coronavirus, some doctors have reported that hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for decades as a malaria treatment, has been effective when used in tandem with other substances.
“From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota,” Noem said in a statement. “Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts.” (RELATED: Snopes Gives NYT ‘Mostly False’ Rating Over Article About Trump And Hydroxychloroquine)
Sanford Health, Avera Health, and Monument Health will be part of the trial. Sanford Health is the largest rural health care provider in the country, Fox Business reported.
Some doctors, like the CEO of Mend Urgent Care Dr. Anthony Cardillo, saw promising results with hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc for severely ill coronavirus patients, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. Every patient I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free,” Cardillo told Eyewitness News. “So clinically I am seeing a resolution.”
Many U.S. hospitals are already using hydroxychloroquine as first-line therapy for coronavirus patients, Dr. Wesley Self, the doctor leading the trial, told Fox Business. “Thus, data on hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 are urgently needed to inform clinical practice.”
Hydroxychloroquine can cause health issues, and some coronavirus patients developed heart problems while taking the drug, according to the Wall Street Journal.