Health minister Greg Hunt has struck a deal to bring hydroxychloroquine, a so-called virus wonder-drug touted by US President Donald Trump, into Australia.
Speaking on A Current Affair, Hunt said he was "just off a call" with an international supplier organising a deal to get the drug into Australia and that it was "breaking news".
Asked about the possibility of having a vaccine specifically for Covid-19 soon, Hunt said Australia was "helping to lead the world a realistic timeframe" on a vaccine, but it wasn't there yet.
"We would rather put out there preventions, hydroxychloroquine, things such as that.
"I'm confident we will have a significant supply of hydroxychloroquine, which will be available, if doctors wish to use it with patients who are in hospital. Those are the terms.
"That is breaking news."
Hydroxychloroquine is a drug used to treat patients with lupus or other immune deficiency diseases and was available here before coronavirus sent global suppliers into a lockdown on the remaining resources of it.
Trump has said that hydroxychloroquine could be among "the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine" for its potential effects against Covid-19.
He has touted the possible benefits of the drug, on social media and in press conferences, saying he has a "hunch".
"Hopefully they will … be put into use immediately," he posted on Twitter to his 75 million followers. "PEOPLE ARE DYING."
Not everyone is convinced of its efficacy to treat coronavirus patients, even in concert with other drugs.
The National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Professor Chris Freeman, said last month that there had been a "real rush in pharmacies for the drug hydroxychloroquine".
But he said it was not clear if it was effective in fighting Covid-19.
Medical professionals are still uncertain over the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment and Freeman said in Australia the drug was being used strictly in ICU "under the context of a clinical trial".
In this way the treatment may potentially help people while simultaneously "gathering evidence" regarding whether hydroxychloroquine "actually works," he said.
According to Freeman "there is an indication it might be effective," but he doesn't "want to give people false hope if the medicine is proved to be not effective".
When asked by A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw if the drug was deemed to be a "cure" or our "best chance", Hunt said experts were "cautiously hopeful" that the drug "can have an impact".
"It's not a perfect cure, it's not a perfect prevention, it's not fully proven but there have been some promising trials around the world.
"This will allow us the capacity to expand those trials in Australia."
The European Commission said there was no evidence the drug was effective against the disease.
"The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19 patients has to date not been proved," a spokesman for the European Commission said on Tuesday, relaying an internal opinion from the European Medicine Agency.
After studies indicated hydroxychloroquine might aid in the treatment of Covid-19, many pharmacies across Australia have found themselves in short supply.
Freeman said stockpiling of the drug would mean "if we do find out this is really effective, it won't be able to save a life because it's sitting on someone's shelf", Sky News reported.