Malaria Drug Getting More Looks; Now in Short Supply at Pharmacies

The old malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been effective in treating some patients with covid-19.  A small French study showed that 25% of patients on the drug caught the virus, while 90% of the control group became ill.  The drug has been around for decades, was used extensively by the U.S. military, and is well understood.

President Trump even touted the drug as a way to address the crisis.

But now independent pharmacies and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), report that the drug is in short supply as demand surges amid the fast-spreading outbreak.

The ASHP, which maintains a list of drugs in shortage independent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list, plans to add the generic malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to its list of shortages.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called on U.S. health regulators to expedite potential therapies aimed at treating COVID-19 for which there is no approved treatments or vaccines.

He said the government was looking at hydroxychloroquine and Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir, which is undergoing clinical trials for the respiratory illness.

Given that the military probably has a stockpile to use on troops, maybe we could ask them to spare a few doses.


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