Trump calls this drug a “game changer.” Doctors are not so sure.

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Dr. Sarah Doernberg, associate professor of infectious diseases at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, said she was selective about the patients who received the drug. “It is not an established therapy that everyone should receive,” she said. “I am quite convinced of this. “

A study of its effects in a clinical trial, compared to a placebo, was needed, she said. “We can find the answers to this question, so that when people get sick in months, we will know if it will work.” “

These trials are currently starting, with more than 100 studies of hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19 having been published in a federal registry of clinical trials.

A placebo-controlled trial funded by the National Institutes of Health began enrolling patients last week at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. This trial aims to enroll more than 500 hospitalized people. Several other institutions across the country, including NYU Langone Health in New York, are testing whether the drug can stop or prevent infection in people who are at high risk of or have been exposed to it.

The drug is also loosely dispersed in the national strategic stock. Hospitals administering the drugs in stock must account for patients who use them, but not through a formal clinical trial.

Manufacturers have donated millions of tablets to the stock and are ramping up production. But Trump’s drug promotion has also resulted in shortages, and people who depend on hydroxychloroquine – like those with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis – have struggled to fill their prescriptions.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday, F.D.A.Commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, said he had not felt any political pressure in favor of hydroxychloroquine. “I can promise the American people that F.D.A. will use science and data to drive our decisions, always, “he said.

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