NEW ORLEANS — 400,000 tablets of an anti-viral medication that has shown promise in treating coronavirus symptoms are being donated to Louisiana hospitals.
Attorney General Jeff Landry and state senator Fred Mills announced that Amneal Pharmaceuticals is donating pallets of hydroxycholorquine sulfate to the state, one of two drugs that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized to be given to hospitalized COVID-19 patients and medical personnel for treatment and prevention.
The drug, which has yielded some early positive results in treating the virus, has not gone through the extensive testing necessary to be proven to treat COVID-19. The topic sparked controversy and confusion when Trump toted it as a potentially game-changing medicine as early as two weeks ago.
The tablets will be shipped to University Medical Center in New Orleans and the LSU Medical School wings in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
They will be used in two separate trials conducted by the LSU School of Medicine: One that prescribes hydroxycholorquine to COVID-19 patients with severe conditions and another that gives it to healthcare workers to test if it prevents catching the virus.
"Amneal's donation is one step toward trying to find treatments and cures for this epidemic," Landry said. "Right now, there are no silver bullets. We must remain vigilant against the spread of this virus."
With the trials up and running, doctors treating coronavirus patients will be able request the medication for those battling the potentially deadly disease.
The Louisiana Department of Health will distribute the medication.
Several similar clinical trials are being conducted around the country. Amneal, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, has donated millions of their tablets to hospitals in New York and Texas as well.
According to information from the AG's office, hydroxycholoroquine was synthesized in 1946 and is approved by the FDA to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.