Come back West, old man?

On March 30th, in plenty of time to avoid being taken for an April Fool’s joke, California Governor Gavin Newsome issued executive order N-39-20  https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.30.20-EO-N-39-20-text.pdf giving the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) the authority to waive professional licensing requirements for the healing arts boards under DCA during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.  AnyContinue reading “Come back West, old man?”

Want a Z-Pac with that Plaquenil?

An article in the New York Times yesterday gave a face to a controversial treatment for COVID-19 that’s been the stuff of rumors for weeks https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/technology/doctor-zelenko-coronavirus-drugs.html.  Dr. Zev Zelenko, primary care doctor to his community of 35,000 Hadassic Jews in Kiryas Joel, about an hour’s drive from Manhattan, has been treating even mild cases withContinue reading “Want a Z-Pac with that Plaquenil?”

Hello Plaquenil! You too, Aralen

On Sunday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the Health and Human Services’(HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (ASPAR’s BARDA) for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus treatment. The agency allowed for the drugs to be “donated to the StrategicContinue reading “Hello Plaquenil! You too, Aralen”

why rheumatology and, um, death?

I thought after all this coronavirus stuff, we needed a light break. As is often the case these days, this one was inspired by my high school English teacher Mrs. Pharriss. Towards the end of a long e-mail, she asked me: “Did you have to deal with deaths of patients very often during your medicalContinue reading “why rheumatology and, um, death?”

Look out Mr. Corona, here comes Science

The latest piece of COVID-19 information circulating in my Division Monday was a pre-print of a manuscript submitted to Nature (perhaps the world’s most highly regarded scientific journal) regarding the results of a molecular tour de force investigation of COVID-19’s protein components and the human proteins with which they interact, examining properties of existing drugsContinue reading “Look out Mr. Corona, here comes Science”

Hands off My Plaquenil?

My young friend Jason, research superstar and damn fine doctor to boot (see “shameless plugs” 2/22/20), is married to Sara, a science writer.  Sara has spent the last little while researching how the patients Jason and I look after see the new interest in one of their mainstay drugs – Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) – as aContinue reading “Hands off My Plaquenil?”

Treating COVID-19

On March 4th, in a 9 page (once translated) document, the Chinese Health and Public Health Ministry put out their 6th revision of its Guideline on Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Diagnosis and Treatment.  I put the full guidelines on my blog Thursday.  Only 2 small sections mentioned anything about drug treatment.  But they have foundContinue reading “Treating COVID-19”

How Plaquenil May Work

I struggled for 36 years in Rheumatology to figure out how Plaquenil works in our diseases, and never did.  But I think I might understand, at least in part, how it’s working in its new role as our savior from Mr. coronavirus. It’s just a matter of simple chemistry.  OHC (hydroxychloroquine: Plaquenil) accumulates in acidic intracellular organelles,Continue reading “How Plaquenil May Work”