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West Texas doctor claims to have “silver bullet” for COVID-19

The steroid-based treatment is not currently approved by the FDA
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 7:28 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - A West Texas Doctor claims he’s found the “silver bullet” for COVID-19, but the treatment is not currently approved by the FDA.

Dr. Richard Bartlett works at various clinics around West Texas, and says he’s found a successful treatment for the coronavirus.

“The treatment plan is inhaled, generic budesonide,” Bartlett said. “Using some generic antibiotics to protect from a secondary bacterial infection. Using zinc, which interferes with virus replication. It’s common sense. It’s intuitive.”

Budesonide is a steroid, that can be inhaled directly to the lungs using a nebulizer.

The drug has been used for decades to treat asthma and is approved by the FDA. However using it to treat COVID-19 is not.

“I am not aware of any doctors anywhere that are using this specifically for COVID-19, yet,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said he treats people as soon as they show symptoms.

“Early treatment is better with this disease,” he said. “And I’m having a 100% survival rate. I don’t even know how many I’ve treated...dozens. I have 14 that I’m treating right now.”

Bartlett said that patients tell him they feel immediate relief.

CBS7 asked local health authorities about Bartlett’s claims.

“When we go look at a study,” Odessa Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Rohith Saravanan said, “If they say ‘oh five cases, all solved. Magic pill. Silver bullet’, well that’s not how science works. You take thousands and thousands of patients across multiple countries, multiple sites, you blind them, you control certain people, certain treatments. And then you compare the groups. It’s not that he’s doing something wrong. He’s sharing what he found could be useful to the scientific community.”

Bartlett said he’s currently writing a paper to submit to medical journals.

Additionally, he said the National Institute of Health, as well as the countries of France and Spain will be looking into inhaled budesonide treatments.

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