Trials and reliable drugs

Published in El Pais, 8 August 2020.

In countries where COVID-19 is not under control, its health system has collapsed. People are desperately looking for medicines to protect and heal themselves. I completely understand, but the risks are enormous. In many years of health science, a system has been established where doctors only prescribe medications and treatments whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven. Currently, not a day goes by that someone tells me that they are taking or want to take chlorine dioxide as a (preventive) treatment. It scares me that people pick something that does not have published evidence that shows if it works as a treatment for COVID-19 in humans at what stage of the disease it works and at what dose? A research is being conducted in Colombia, but there are no results yet.

Perhaps some people think that nothing is lost by trying it, but they forget that when concentration is high, it can cause serious damage to the human body that are irreparable. There are stories of people saying they felt bad, took chlorine dioxide, and cured. The truth is that if there are 100 people infected with COVID-19, between 90 and 95 of these people will be cured without the need for any medication or hospitalization. Vulnerable people are people over the age of 70 and young people (<60 years) who have some precondition (diabetes, some cardio-respiratory problem). Therefore, if some infected people are cured it does not prove that chlorine dioxide worked, as they would have healed in any way.

When the pharmaceutical industry wants to bring a new drug to the market, they must demonstrate in a comprehensive way that their drug is effective, and this is not an easy task. Methods that include a treatment group and a control group are used to know this. And only when they have shown that there is a significant difference between the two groups and that side effects are acceptable; can the drug be released to the market. Every drug has negative effects, and these can manifest in a day or in the long run.

There are several legal treatments that have shown to be effective against COVID-19 but still none with high results. This requires more research. Chlorine dioxide may work and cure, but it may also be the biggest deception of this epidemic. Only time will tell.

In other circumstances, people blame the pharmaceutical industry for negative side effects just for generating economic gains and governments are blamed for not sufficiently controlling these organizations. However, it is now seen that people are willing to experiment preemptively in their own body and assume their consequences that can be dire while they may have healed by themselves.

About Arnold Hagens 257 Articles
Arnold Hagens is Economist with strong interest in technology, health and coaching

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