Coronavirus treatment: 12 French doctors file a petition calling on French Prime Minister and Minister of Health to urgently make hydroxychloroquine available in all French hospital pharmacies
As coronavirus death toll continues to rise around the world, there is a growing call for the use of use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Today, 12 French doctors led by Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy and Dr. Christian Perronne, have started a petition at Change.org urging French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his Minister of Health, to urgently make hydroxychloroquine available in all hospital pharmacies, so that each hospital doctor can prescribe to all patients with symptomatic form of the Covid-19 condition, particularly those with pulmonary disorders if their condition requires it.
Below is a translation of their petition in English.
We are living in a major global health crisis and our country is severely hit by the Covid-19 epidemic wave.
Every day we mourn many deaths. Against this disease, we have neither vaccines nor antiviral treatment even if the current scientific data are patchy and discordant.
Recent Chinese data have suggested the efficacy of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in the laboratory and in patients. A study published by Chen et al. (Efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19: results of a randomized clinical trial) shows the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19 suffering from moderately severe pneumonia; the few who worsened did not receive treatment.
Maps published by Santé Publique France show a much lower mortality rate among hospitalized people in Marseille than in the rest of the territory.
In view of international scientific data as well as field experiences from doctors in direct contact with the infection and pending new scientifically controlled data, the Italian and then American authorities have taken bold therapeutic decisions in this area. .
On March 17, 2020, the Italian drug agency, considering the health emergency, authorized the prescription of hydroxychloroquine by all doctors, including city doctors.
To avoid all risks or deviations, this medication must be delivered to a hospital pharmacy with an obligation to ensure traceability of prescriptions and return of medical data.
On March 29, after a favorable opinion from the FDA (American drug agency), the United States Department of Health (US Department of HHS) decided to make chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine available hospital pharmacies throughout the federal territory.
The American government will use its strategic reserve made up of millions of treatments accumulated over the past few weeks.
As of now, the FDA authorizes all American hospital doctors to prescribe these two drugs, including outside therapeutic trials. It requests, as in Italy, that all the medical data of the patients treated be collected in order to analyze them.
Portugal has just recommended these treatments for cases of Covid-19 with pneumonia.
The tolerance of these drugs prescribed to millions of individuals for decades is good on the express condition of respecting the dosage and contraindications, checking the compatibility with other drugs taken simultaneously, controlling the potassium level in the blood and perform an electrocardiogram beforehand, especially in the case of an associated prescription for azithromycin
Self-medication should be avoided at all costs.
Awaiting new scientifically controlled data, in the acute situation that we know, more and more doctors think that this strategy is essential, in accordance with their Hippocratic oath, to treat their patients in their soul and conscience.
However, the decree in force in France No. 2020/337 of March 26, 2020 allows the use of hydroxychloroquine only “after collegial decision, in compliance with the recommendations of the Haut-Conseil de la Santé Publique and, in particular of indication for patients with oxygen-demanding pneumonia or organ failure “.
At this late stage of the disease, this treatment may be ineffective. If the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine is confirmed, the protocol will have to be opened quickly to private doctors to avoid saturation of hospitals.
We therefore ask the Prime Minister and his Minister of Health to urgently amend this decree and to make available immediately in all hospital pharmacies hydroxychloroquine or, failing that, chloroquine so that each hospital doctor can prescribe to all patients with symptomatic form of the Covid-19 condition, particularly those with pulmonary disorders if their condition requires it.
We call on the State to make reservations or orders for hydroxychloroquine so that, if the effectiveness is confirmed in the coming days, we will not be in want of treatment.
Pr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Professor of public health and epidemiology, former Minister of Health,
Pr. Christian Perronne, Head of the infectious diseases department of Raymond Poincaré de Garches hospital,
Dr. Michèle Barzach, former Minister of Health,
Pr. Isabelle Bourgault Villada, Professor of dermatology at Ambroise Paré hospital,
Pr. François Bricaire, former Head of the infectious diseases department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, Member of the Academy of Medicine,
Pr. Marc Gentilini, Professor of parasitology, public health and infectious disease clinic, Member of the Academy of Medicine,
Pr. Olivier Goulet, Professor of Pediatrics at Necker Hospital,
Pr. Jacques Marescaux, Founding President of IRCAD, Member of the Academy of Medicine,
Pr. Catherine Neuwirth, Professor of microbiology at the University Hospital of Dijon,
Dr. Patrick Pelloux, President of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France,
Pr. Paul Trouillas, Professor of neurology at the CHU de Lyon,
Dr. Martine Wonner, psychiatrist, LREM deputy for the Bas Rhin.