The race to find effective treatments for COVID-19

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — There’s unprecedented urgency in the race to find effective for COVID-19.

First, a vaccine.

A number of companies around the world are working on one right now — with development expected in 10 to 12 months. A fast track compared to the typical route. And of equal importance, medicines to ease the symptoms and possibly shorten the duration of the virus in infected patients.

“The worst thing to do is to make the cure worse than the disease,” said Peter Pitts, Former FDA Associate Commissioner.

Pitts said there’s a process in place to put medications to the test when it comes to COVID-19 and that it has to play out.

“We want to make sure that the drugs work, that they work effectively. That it’s better than just lying in bed resting and drinking plenty of liquids. Those are the things we’ll find out and we’ll learn pretty quickly,” he added.

“Within a month we should have really solid clinical evidence that tells us if they work or not.”

Names like chloroquine and Remdesivir — drugs already available but used to treat different illnesses like malaria and rheumatoid arthritis — have offered a glimmer of hope.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday offered more insight on the path to provide a viable treatment for COVID-19.

“You’ve heard about candidates, but there are others in the pipeline where we will be able to design the study and over a period of time particularly because we have so many infections we’ll be able to determine are these safe and are they effective?” Fauci said.

In the meantime, Mr. Pitts urges people not to play doctor and self medicate. Instead, count on what scientists know works.

“I think we all have to be part of the solution. Social distancing really works. Shelter in place really works,” he said.

Health officials want definitive data to determine proper dosing an who should and should not take the drugs under investigation.

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