Why Did France Just Classify A Known COVID Remedy As Controlled Substance?

This is a rhetorical question of course, which we hope to partially answer in future posts. At this point, we would merely like to point to this astonishing “coincidence”.

But first: one of the world’s foremost experts in respiratory viral infections, prof. Raoult (unit director at the IHU in Marseilles), published on Feb 25 2020 a video saying chloroquinine very effectively kills the virus. He published a short video called “Coronavirus, towards an end of the crisis” (in French).

Video archive 1, archive 2.

Here is an English transcript of the video:

Well then, a last-minute scoop, very important news. The Chinese, who move the fastest, who are the most pragmatic, rather than looking for a vaccine or a new molecule that cures the coronavirus, we do what we call repositioning, meaning we test molecules that are old, that are known, that have no toxicity problems, in order to test them against their new virus.

They tested it against their new virus, they found (as it had been found for SARS and forgotten) that on their new virus, their new corona, chloroquine is active in vitro. I had been interviewed by Chinese television, they asked what advice I gave the Chinese, asked what I expected from the Chinese (who I consider to be the best virology teams in the world), I told them I hoped that very very very soon the Chinese will give us the results of a first study on the efficacy of chloroquine on coronaviruses. And it just came out! So it is effective on coronaviruses, with 500 mg of chloroquine per day for 10 days.

It produced a dramatic improvement and it’s recommended for all clinically positive cases to the Chinese coronavirus infection. So this is great news, it is probably the easiest respiratory infection to treat of all (laughter from students). And so there’s no need to get excited, we have to work! No need to get excited, promising vaccines in ten years, we have to work, see the potentially active molecules that are immediately available on the market.

The only thing I’m saying is, be careful, there will soon be no more chloroquine in pharmacies (laughter from students).

For this video, Prof. Raoult was viciously attacked on French TV, despite his extraordinary credentials. For a more detailed account, and if you don’t mind reading/translating French, we recommend this previous post.

Coincidentally enough, France had just classified hydroxychloroquine (a close analog of chloroquine) as a controlled substance. The order dates from Jan 13 2020, but it was done following a proposal of the national agency of medicine safety dating Dec 13 2019 (link archive 1, archive 2).

Classifying hydroxychloroquine as controlled substance

The order states that under all its forms hydroxychloroquine is hereby classified as a venomous substance of category (list) 2.

We hope to be able to explain all these “strange coincidences” in forthcoming posts.