South Dakota will launch a statewide clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment of the Chinese coronavirus, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Fox News on Monday.
“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 to the news outlet.
Noem will kick off the “comprehensive” trial after conveying to the Trump administration in recent days that “South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts.”
“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 those for health care workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations,” added the governor.
Noem revealed South Dakota received hydroxychloroquine for the trials thanks to healthcare providers Avera Health, Monument Health, and Sanford Health.
“The health care community in South Dakota consistently works together with the state for the benefit of all our patients,” South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in a statement. “I am excited patients across the state will have access to this drug, and we will learn more about its benefits in treating and even preventing COVID-19.”
The announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use of Hydroxychloroquine as a possible coronavirus treatment, determining that the possible benefits outweigh the risks.
“Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to FDA, it is reasonable to believe that chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate may be effective in treating COVID-19,” FDA Chief Scientist Denise Hinton wrote in the approval letter.
“When used under the conditions described in this authorization, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate when used to treat COVID-19 outweigh the known and potential risks of such products.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the drugs as a possible treatment for the virus, while doctors around the country have said the medication helped patients recover.