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While the development of a treatment for coronavirus is making progress, Dr. Mehmet Oz said on Monday that the “challenge is that there is a shortage of supply for mass production" of pills.

“The U.S. government has to procure enough of these pills,” Oz told “Fox & Friends.”

“My biggest challenge was getting pills and we finally thankfully got enough to do a trial and a couple of hundred people, but America is going to want pills.”

Oz’s comments came after researchers in France issued a statement detailing how a combination of antimalarial medication and antibiotics could be a vital weapon in the battle against coronavirus.


The work by researchers at IHU-Méditerranée Infection in Marseille has garnered global attention, notably from President Trump. Researchers prescribed the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin to patients earlier this month, according to the research, which is published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.

The Federal Drug Administration is studying the effects of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, but it has made no recommendation on it yet.

In the abstract of their research study, researchers noted that patients “showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage,” six days after treatment with the two drugs began, and “much lower average carrying duration,” compared to untreated patients.

Oz said that he worked with a research team at Columbia University to craft a study that would “replicate” France's research.

“We’re going to test whether these two drugs -- a malaria drug and Z-Pack [Zithromax] -- can reduce the chance of you having a virus that lasts in your body more than five days as we’re showing in the study and also will it reduce the amount of virus the whole time.”

Oz said that the process is a “game-changer” because it takes the combination of two already existing pills and "repurposes them to shorten the amount of time of infection while potentially reducing complications."

“This becomes more like the flu than coronavirus.”


Oz said that, although the problem is there is a shortage of pills, Americans are going to start taking the pills once they test positive.

“I don’t want people hoarding. Please, do not take these pills and put them in your medicine cabinet and store them just in case. Desperately ill people need them so if we’re going to start using it and it’s already happening, let’s start making this snowball grow," he said. "That's the message, Mr. President. And, for the task force, get us these pills."

Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this report.