Doctor, former Kansas governor says coronavirus patients 'doing better' in testing with anti-malaria drug

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Anti-malaria drugs ike hydroxychloroquine -- which are being used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients -- are showing positive results, former Kansas governor and practicing surgeon Dr. Jeff Colyer said Wednesday.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Ed Henry, Colyer said that data from testing at the University of Kansas and in the Kansas City community have proven the drug to have a "safe safety profile."

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"I'm one of those people that has had both the white coat and the blue coat on as a policymaker, and it is an important balance," he explained. "[The] white coat in me would love to have more standardized tests with this. However, we have a lot of data, and in fact, about 21 percent of all prescriptions in the United States are used off-label."

"We now have a couple of studies, really, they're large case reports, that show that people who were on this medication have fewer symptoms and are doing better," he continued further. "We're going to be getting a lot more data over the next couple of weeks."

That said, Colyer noted that this was the only drug physicians could turn to at the moment.

"But, the important thing is as a policymaker you are wanting to help people. As a doctor, I want to help people as well, but we have to get them the right drug. And, this is, frankly, the only one that is in our arsenal," he told Henry.

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"As I like to say -- or the old saying is -- you know, you go to the war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had," Colyer said.

The doctor concluded that while policymakers would make their own decisions on how to proceed, this is one of the "few options that we have."