First, we have this, from the World Health Organization (WHO): “There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”
Nevertheless, doctors around the world, often with the approval of their national governments, are treating many patients with experimental or “off-label” antiviral drugs.
Here are some names of the medicines: Chloroquine, Remdesivir, Ribavirin, favipiravir, lopinavir; ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, Sofosbuvir, corticosteroids, oseltamivir, zanamivir.
They all have adverse effects.
What to do?
Answer: decide that no one who is injured by the drugs can file a suit.
In America: Done.
From druganddevicelawblog.com, March 18, 2020, “We Finally Have Something To Say About COVID-19”:
“On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published in the Federal Register a ‘notice of declaration’ conferring broad-based immunity from tort (including product liability) litigation for those engaging in ‘activities related to medical countermeasures against COVID-19.’ This declaration is now published at 85 Fed. Reg. 15198 (HHS March 17, 2020).”
“HHS is conferring tort immunity…The immunity extends to ‘any claim of loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the manufacture, distribution, administration, or use of medical countermeasures’…The immunity extends not only to COVID-19-fighting drugs, but also to ‘products or technologies intended to enhance the use or effect of a drug, biological product [vaccine], or device used against the pandemic’…The only exception is for ‘willful misconduct’.”
“The immunity being conferred shoves other federal laws aside as well as preempting state law.”
And that takes care of that.
A patient is given an antiviral drug and dies? No law suit can be filed. Anyone associated with the drug, from manufacturer down to prescribing doctor, is exempt from liability.
Take one example of a drug, Chloroquine. It’s approved for the treatment of malaria, and now some doctors are using it on their COVID patients. From webmd.com, here is the “side effects” section (note: once the page loads, then click on the “Side Effects” tab at the top of the page):
* “Blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, and diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.”
* “Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.”