A three page advertisement in the Herald Sun commissioned by former politician Clive Palmer has been slammed by an infectious disease expert as “dangerous” and “misleading”.
The ad details Palmer’s efforts to fight COVID-19, which suggests using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to fight the coronavirus. This is despite a new study finding CV-19 patients taking hydroxychloroquine were no less likely to need mechanical ventilation.
Furthermore, the hydroxychloroquine trial for COVID-19 has since been aborted over concerns of a high rate of death in study participants.
Palmer bought the advertising spread to announce he had bought 32.9 million doses of the drug. An infectious disease professor told 3AW‘s Ross and John that his ad is harmful and misleading.
“It’s actually quite dangerous and might mislead people to think there’s a drug that might work when in fact the available evidence is it probably does more harm than good and is already killing probably more people than it’s saving from COVID,” Professor Collignon said.
“The harm is that any drug we have, whether it’s approved or not, particularly if you use it in high dose … can cause people to have heart arrhythmia, so basically you have a heart attack and can die.
“Also in high doses it can actually cause blindness. This might have looked good in a test tube … but the current available evidence suggests it kills more people than it saves,” he said.
Palmer has been advocating for the drug since March, before it was approved for use in Australia. He’s previously taken out ads across Facebook and in The Australian.
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