N.J. pharmacist, Senate candidate: Hydroxychloroquine ‘should maintain fast-track status’

TRENTON, N.J. – Republican U.S. Senate candidatre and former United States Food and Drug Administraiton (FDA) official Dr. Rik Mehta, a pharmacist, believes hydroxychloroquine could be important in the fight against COVID-19.

He felt strong enough about it to pen a letter to Bob Menendez and Bill Pascrell; the New Jersey Democrats had written their own pre-Easter letter to the FDA demanding that the FDA reconsider fast-track status for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.

“Senator Menendez and Congressman Pascrell are letting partisan politics get in the way of science and it’s offensive. This letter by Menendez and Pascrell will have a negative and chilling effect within the medical research community,” Mehta explained. “The medical research community is applauding the FDA’s concerted efforts to advance rapid drug development, devices and diagnostics through regulatory science. These ill-informed politicians are placing lives at risk. Science is only good when you have it. The job of the FDA Commissioner is not to stop work until science is available, but to make tough decisions when it’s not.”

Mehta’s letter can be read here.

The letter is co-signed by former Assistant Secretary of Health and retired 4-star Admiral Dr. Joxel Garcia.

“The shortage of these drugs is nothing more than failed Obama-era policies that have allowed for globalization of our supply chain,” Mehta added. “Dr. Hahn should allow for exemptions in the Drug Master File to allow for new API sourcing and increase the availability of these drugs in the U.S. We shouldn’t have to pick between one disease state or the other. Nor should we rely on China for our source ingredients.”

Mehta is competing for the GOP nomination to challenge Cory Booker in November.