April 6th, 2020, by Labtoo's team
The opinion of the French on chloroquine and the search for treatments against coronavirus
The world is experiencing a major health crisis and is waiting for a response from the scientific research community to find a vaccine and a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection and get us out of the crisis.
We conducted a survey with Ifop to gauge public opinion on Chloroquine and on support for research projects on Coronavirus and other diseases. The results show that we are living in a unique moment: the vast majority of the French population has an opinion on the efficacy of a drug. The scientific world very widely advocates the precautionary principle due to the weak evidence from clinical trials on the use of Chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19.
If Chloroquine were to prove useful, policy makers would have to react quickly to avoid a double health catastrophe: the self-medication of a molecule with deleterious side effects and the pandemic that would continue due to a lack of stock due to late production.
This study also highlights the opinion of the French people on the support of public authorities for Research projects. According to a large majority of them, support is insufficient for both Coronavirus projects (55%) and other pathologies (70%).
At a time when a petition signed by medical personalities (e.g. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Patrick Pelloux, etc.) and nearly 200,000 signatories is reviving the chloroquine debate within the scientific community, Ifop is publishing a survey for Labtoo, a platform for medical research, which shows that the majority of public opinion is convinced of the effectiveness of the protocol defended by Professor Raoult and largely supports relaxing the conditions for prescribing chloroquine.
1. Do the French know that there is a chloroquine-based treatment against coronavirus?
2. Do the French think that chloroquine is effective against coronavirus?
3. How many French people would like the conditions for prescribing choloroquine to be relaxed?
4. When do the French think an effective treatment against coronavirus will be available?
The French are in any case rather sceptical about the rapid spread of an effective treatment against the coronavirus: only 21% of them think that a treatment will be available "before this summer (June 2020)" and a third (32%) "after this summer (September 2020)". Thus, nearly half (47%) believe that it will be necessary to wait until 2021 for an effective treatment to be available in France.
5. How do the French view support for research against coronavirus and other diseases?
Finally, the French judge the action of the public authorities in this area quite severely, since a majority of them believe that they do not sufficiently support research work on the coronavirus (55%) but also on viruses other than the coronavirus (67%).