Dr. Oz has backed off his support for the use of hydroxichloquine, the anti-malaria drug that Trump and others have pushed as a cure for coronavirus. Rather than saying people should use it, he’s now saying that we should wait for adequate clinical trials before deciding whether the drug should be used.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): All right, so let’s move on to hydroxychloroquine. They did a study, a limited study, at a VA hospital and they came to the conclusion it did no benefit and they still had 19 deaths. What’s your reaction to that since you’ve been doing — we have all have been doing heavy work to find out where — if this works or not?
DR. MEHMET OZ (HOST, THE DR. OZ SHOW): Well the VA study looked at older and quite a bit sicker patients, all male patients in their hospitals, and they showed that the drug by itself didn’t help, it might harm that population. As you know, there have been other studies done — the VA study was retrospective. They looked back to see what had happened because they weren’t gathering the data at the time that they were actually giving the medications. Studies that have done this prospectively, so looking forward and giving it — as collecting data as they are going along like in France or the randomized trials from China have shown benefits, but only really when it’s given earlier to patients.
The fact of the matter is, we don’t know. Thankfully these medications are prescription-only, so doctors are desperately awaiting the completion of the higher quality randomized trials, and we’ve covered them on the show several times. South Dakota, University of Minnesota now has over a thousand patients randomized. There’s additional trials going on. Let’s get the data so we know what we are dealing with.,.
I got to say, I think at this point there is so much data coming from so many places, we are better off waiting for the randomized trials Dr. Fauci has been asking for. Otherwise, it’s — we keep reacting back and forth for studies that show opposite results. And a lot of it might have to do with when you get the medication. If you give it to people who are already having breathing tubes down their throat, it’s not going to have the same kind effect as if you give it early. But we don’t have randomized data from the United States to educate us well enough right now.
His position now is correct, of course. But he isn’t acknowledging that he’s changed his stance at all.