In a rush to find a cure, scientists around the world and in the U.S. began studying the drug. In late March, the FDA issued an emergency use authorizationfor the decades-old anti-malaria drug, and has since faced criticism that it caved to political pressure in approving its use without solid evidence.
The impact: This could be the drug’s death knell.
On Monday, the FDA pulled its emergency use authorization, with the agency’s chief scientist, Denise Hinton, writing in a letter that it’s “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect.” And on Wednesday, the WHO stopped its trial of the drug.
What’s next: Scientists have instead turned their sights on other possible treatments for the virus, such as Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir and a cheap steroid called dexamethasone. Randomized, controlled clinical trials have shown that both drugs help coronavirus patients.