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Malaria Drugs' Promise For Coronavirus Spurs Hope, Shortages

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Excitement about treating the new coronavirus with malaria drugs is raising hopes, including with President Donald Trump. But the evidence that they may help is thin, and a run on the drugs is complicating access for people who need them for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Chloroquine and a similar drug, hydroxychloroquine, have shown encouraging signs in very small and early tests. But the drugs have major side effects. That's one reason scientists don't want to give them without evidence of their value, even in this emergency. Scientists say major studies are needed to prove the drugs are safe and effective when used for purposes other than those approved now.