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Could a drug for lupus help treat coronavirus? A Las Vegas doctor weighs in

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The fight against COVID-19 is a fight for life or death

For one couple in Las Vegas, it's a fight they won.

They say their biggest weapon they had was a drug named hydroxychloroquine.

"We had nothing to lose trying the drug," they said.

But they have everything to lose if they did nothing.

Both Elaine and Jack Kaufman are in their 80s and fought off coronavirus at Southern Hills Hospital.


"I'm 81, my husband is 83, it's not easy getting your body back to where it was," said Elaine.

While the Kaufmans credit the drug and the hard work of the doctor, there are still a lot of questions about the drug.

Experts say the drug commonly used for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis might not actually work for coronavirus.

There haven't been any studies done and all evidence is purely anecdotal.

UNLV's School of Medicine's Dr. Mitchell Forman has been prescribing the drug to patients for decades. He says there's no clear evidence to support COVID-19 treatment.

"There have been no good scientific studies, double-blind studies, which is the standard for testing. None of that is available," explained Forman.

Demand for the drug has been so high his patients are having a hard time getting their prescriptions refilled.

"I think as such time as we have a proven treatment, even anecdotal studies warrant consideration," said Forman.

So is the drug an answer here? Could it help save the lives of coronavirus patients?

We don't know, Forman says, and more studies need to be done.

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But as the world fights a disease with no treatment or vaccine, he says every option should on the table, including the option that may have saved the Kaufmans' lives.

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