Protesters deliver letters asking GPs to use drug found to be ineffective against Covid

Protesters deliver letters asking GPs to use drug found to be ineffective against Covid

Donald Trump took hydroxychloroquine when he had Covid-19. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

An anti-mask protest group is hand-delivering letters to GPs advising them to treat Covid-19 patients with a drug which the HSE and other health authorities worldwide have said is not effective against the virus.

Health Freedom Ireland organised rallies this year to protest Nphet’s advice on the pandemic.

Limerick GP Dr Pat Morrissey, who spoke at the October rally, was later removed from his position as chair of ShannonDoc. He said he prescribed hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to Covid-19 patients.

A HSE spokeswoman said at the time: “Hydroxychloroquine is not used as a treatment for Covid-19. It has been removed from clinical recommendations due to evidence indicating a lack of benefit in patients hospitalised with Covid-19.” 

In the letter, signed by Ms Maeve Murran, an alternative healer and kinesiologist, the group criticises the HSE for telling doctors and pharmacists not to use the drug.

The letter describes the drug as “proven safe and effective” in the treatment of Covid-19 and calls on GPs to investigate this for themselves.

However, while this drug is used for other diseases, the HSE and European Medicines Agency [EMA] has said it is not proven effective against this new virus.

The EMA advises it should only be used in trials. Seventeen countries temporarily halted trials this year, but have since re-started. President Trump was criticised in America for promoting HCQ.

The letter states volunteers “have worked hard to print and hand-deliver this letter to as many GPs as possible in Ireland”.

HFI responded by email to questions from the Irish Examiner, but did not wish to say how many letters were delivered or how many GPs responded.

They said: “Our objective in reaching out to GPs about a treatment option, that has shown very promising results in both clinical trials as well as direct patient care scenarios, is to learn if GPs in Ireland have been using or considered using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or any other treatment options for Covid-19.” The letter, which strongly promotes this drug, links to studies which HFI say prove the drug is effective against Covid-19.

But UCC Professor Gerry Killeen, AXA Research Chair in Applied Pathogen Ecology said: “The evidence is pretty clear, it doesn’t do anything.

“Some of the papers referred to are pretty infamous now as being unethical, those studies saying it treats Covid, one of the early French papers was refereed by the guy himself in his own journal.” 

One French scientist quoted is Didier Raoult who will shortly appear before a French disciplinary panel for his HCQ claims.

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