The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is the best coronavirus drug currently available, according to an international poll of thousands of doctors.
Of 6,200 physicians surveyed from 30 countries, the majority (37 per cent) said it was the ‘most effective therapy’ for the virus.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that ‘there is no evidence’ that any medicine ‘can prevent or cure the disease’.
With a spiralling crisis and no cure in sight, doctors in Europe, the US and China have been given licence to prescribe the promising drug to COVID-19 patients.
But the UK has prevented clinicians from dishing out hydroxychloroquine – a form of chloroquine – until clinical trials are completed.
Chloroquine (CQ), branded as Aralen, and counterpart hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), known as Plaquenil, are well-established medicines.
They are also prescribed on the NHS to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and have been used since the 1940s.
The latest poll, conducted by Sermo – a ‘virtual lounge’ for doctors, found the tablets were most widely used for COVID-19 in Spain, where 72 per cent of physicians said they had prescribed them.