目前並無有效藥物可以治療新冠肺炎，美國食藥署(US FDA) 藥物緊急使用條例特別允許醫師開立治療瘧疾的兩種藥物：羥氯喹(hydroxychloroquine)和氯奎寧 (chloroquine)用來治療新冠肺炎病患；然而，這兩種藥物不僅對新冠肺炎的療效尚未證實，還會引起罕見嚴重的副作用，歐盟食藥署及世衛組織重申這兩種藥物尚未證實對新冠肺炎有療效，即便如此，這兩種藥物在美國已經短缺，目前紐約市尚未到達新冠肺炎疫情的高峰期，面對即湧入醫院治療的大量新冠肺炎病患，將會是醫療團隊極度嚴峻的挑戰。
With no “adequate, approved and available” alternative, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing the use of the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The FDA’s emergency use authorisation (EUA) issued last week gives physicians the option to prescribe the drugs, which President Donald Trump has recommended.However, both drugs are unproven and untested for COVID-19, and have rare but potentially deadly side-effects. The decision bypassed the usual drug approval process including doubleblind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, stoking a worldwide debate about whether the drugs are appropriate for treating the disease.
“I think it was resorted to more out of a sense of desperation”, said Joseph Masci, an infectious disease specialist and director of global health at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, a borough of New York City, which is at the centre of the epidemic in the USA. “It is just an indication of how sudden and massive this outbreak has been.”