(CNSNews.com) - Israel’s planned shipment of the drug hydroxychloriquine, which has shown promise in treating the coronavirus but is typically used to treat malaria, is “enough to treat at least 5 million Americans, which is more than have contracted the illness,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.
Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals announced last month that it was donating 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate to U.S. hospitals by March 31 “and more than 10 million within a month.”
“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” said Brendan O’Grady, Teva Executive Vice President, North America Commercial. “Immediately upon learning of the potential benefit of hyroxychloroquine, Teva began to assess supply and to urgently acquire additional ingredients to make more product while arranging for all of what we had to be distributed immediately.”
The drug is used to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Oz said he talked to members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the task force assured him that the U.S. would get over 100 million pills.
“That's enough to treat at least 5 million Americans, which is more than have contracted the illness,” Oz said.
As of Friday, there were 239,279 total cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 5,443 total deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Oz said the Chinese have observed that “people already taking the medication didn't get the illness.”
“So, we ought to think about looking at it for doctors and nurses and the loved ones of people who get ill,” Oz said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, President Donald Trump announced on March 19 that the drug has shown “very encouraging” early results.
“We are going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately,” he said, adding that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “wants to be first on line.”
“Normally, the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that. It was approved very, very quickly, and it's now approved by prescription,” Trump said.