Source: Outsiders

Doctors and patients should be free to decide for themselves whether to take hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19, according to Sky News host Rowan Dean.

The drug has been the source of international scrutiny after US President Donald Trump said it could be a “game changer” and confirmed he is taking it as a way to ward off the virus.

Mr Dean says 68 studies around the world, with 41 of those peer-reviewed, argue hydroxychloroquine is an effective drug to combat the novel coronavirus if taken early.

An Oxford University-led trial into the drug told the BBC last week the drug may be beneficial in preventing COVID-19.

“We know now that it doesn’t work in treatment of hospitalised patients,” Professor Nick White said.

“But it still is a medicine that may prove beneficial in preventing Covid-19.”

However, some medical bodies, including The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, have urged patients to steer clear of taking the drug unless they are part of randomised controlled trials.

“What do we have to lose if we embrace such treatments?” Mr Dean asked. “If we know they are safe, nothing. Millions of Australians spend a fortune on alternative medicines, natural treatments and homeopathic cures that may or may not actually be doing any good, but we don’t ban them unless they are proven to be dangerous.

“We rely on individuals to make their own informed choices, in consultation with their own doctors, nutritionists or whoever. That’s called living in a free society.”

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