Swissmedic fast-tracking Novartis Sandoz Hydroxychloroquine for use in Switzerland:

The pharmaceutical company Novartis announced a donation of a ‘substantial amount’ of hydroxychloroquine to treat hospitalized COVID-19 disease patients in Switzerland.

Switzerland is the second country in the world after the USA, and the first in Europe, to receive a donation of this medication.

The aim of the donation is to enable patients to access to potential treatment while also advancing clinical research, said Novartis in a April 3, 2020, press release.

The new treatment protocol issued by the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases (SSI) includes hydroxychloroquine among the recommended treatments for hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19.

Currently, the approval is valid for the treatment of malaria and autoimmune diseases.

The drug will be used for the treatment under controlled medical supervision.

The Swiss regulatory authority, Swissmedic, responded quickly to the SSI’s treatment recommendation, fast-tracking the procedure to license Novartis / Sandoz’s drug for use on the Swiss market.

“This is a fantastic initiative that aims to help COVID-19 patients around the world, including in Switzerland, by getting a potentially effective drug to them quickly,” says Professor Manuel Battegay, Head Physician Infectious Diseases & Hospital Hygiene, University Hospital Basel, who is a key contributor to the nationwide therapeutic concepts for COVID-19 patients involving hydroxychloroquine.

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