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Utah Buys Malaria Drugs Touted By Trump, Panned By Doctors

John Locher/Associated Press

State officials in Utah say they will buy 200,000 treatments of malaria drugs widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus despite warnings from doctors that the medications shouldn’t be used until more testing is done.

Tom Hudachko, Utah Department of Health spokesman said the state will purchase the treatments that include hydroxychloroquine from a Utah-based compounding pharmacy called Meds in Motion. The company, which had been promoting use of the drugs along with several Republican state lawmakers since mid-March, was selected under emergency procurement rules that negates the usual bid process.

The amount that Meds in Motion will be paid hasn’t been finalized because the contract is not done.

The news comes on the same day that results from a study done at U.S. veterans hospitals cast more doubt on the efficacy of the treatment.

The drugs showed no benefit among 368 patients at the hospitals, and there were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.

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