A new ministerial decree was published yesterday, Thursday, allowing the use of chloroquine for all cases infected by the Coronavirus in France, thus giving reason to Prof. Didier Raoult who has constantly proclaimed the urgency of using this substance, without gaining the support of the French government, despite the fact that the latter has proven its effectiveness.
This new decree amends the old decree which authorized the use of this medicine only in serious cases of infection by the virus.
The French government was very hesitant to authorize the use of this medicine, which has been used in China and other countries to treat Covid-19, for fear of its side effects and because clinical trials have not yet proven its effectiveness.
Moreover, French media reported that, under pressure from the First Lady, French President Emmanuel Macron personally contacted Prof. Raoult, without giving details about the content of the phone call. However, some French media assumed that the President would have thanked him or apologized to him.
It should be noted that the decree, published in the Official Journal and signed by Prime Minister Edward Philippe and Health Minister Olivier Véran, specifies that the medicine may be prescribed to patients suffering from Covid-19, under the responsibility of the attending physician, in the hospitals where the patients are treated, or at home if their state of health allows it, adding that the treatment may be available only in the pharmacies of the hospital establishments concerned, and in certain pharmacies, and that it may be obtained only on presentation of a prescription issued exclusively by specialists in arthritis, internal medicine, dermatology, renal diseases, neurology or paediatrics.
In reaction to the decree, Prof. Didier Raoult expressed his thanks to the Minister of Health via his Facebook page.
Prof. Raoult had caused a worldwide controversy after announcing that chloroquine is effective in the treatment of many cases infected with the Coronavirus, triggering the anger of several scientists and doctors who argued that such a declaration should only be issued after conducting numerous clinical trials, for fear of disappointing people.