Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked at the daily White House coronavirus news briefing about an hours-earlier tweet by Trump that claimed the FDA was working on a combination of an anti-malaria drug and an antibiotic that could treat the infection.
“I’m not totally sure what the president was referring to,” Fauci said …
A Little Context
Not everyone—including, apparently, some reporters—is aware of how drug regulation works. The FDA requires that drugs be (1) safe and (2) effective, and regulates the labeling and advertising of the drugs. Thus, if Drug X has not proved effective in treating histoplasmosis, then its label cannot indicate that it is effective for that use, it cannot be advertised for that use, and the drug company cannot lawfully urge doctors to prescribe it for that use.
BUT BUT BUT it is legal for doctors to prescribe drugs for “off-label use,” and this often happens, when there is some reason to believe a drug may be effective for a particular use and the circumstances are exigent, but the testing has not caught up with FDA standards.
All That Said
All that said, Trump did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don’t trust him to play a doctor on TV and prescribe drugs for off-label use.