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Florida Pharmacy Association issues statement on shortage of hydroxychloroquine prescriptions

The prescription treats lupus and other autoimmune disorders

APOPKA, Fla. – Heather Cantrell takes Hydroxychloroquine to treat her rheumatoid arthritis and until recently, she never imagined her supply would run out. Less than a week before she was out, she found a pharmacy able to fill her prescription.

Cantrell’s concerns started after she heard her medication mentioned on TV during a White House briefing as a treatment for the coronavirus. Very quickly the cosmetologist had a feeling she would have trouble getting her prescription refilled.

“So, I immediately submitted for my refill, I used my app and it immediately came back as out of stock,” Cantrell said.

The life-preserving drug Cantrell had taken on and off for 14 years was now depleted.

“I depend on this medication to help me walk and to help me function throughout the day,” Cantrell said.

The shortage of the prescription which treats lupus and other autoimmune disorders caught the attention of officials with the Florida Pharmacy Association. In a statement to News 6 Florida Pharmacy Association said in the quote:

“Nearly all of the new prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine are being issued for purposes other than what these drugs are indicated for. We are very concerned with this practice of stockpiling of medications for use on patients who may not be ill.”

Cantrell said it is a frustrating process she knows others are dealing with too.

“I would have to go back to walking with my cane and I have come very far without having to walk with a cane,” Cantrell said.

While pharmacies have been swamped with requests Cantrell has called for people who need the drug to remain vigilant.

“Be assertive be aggressive with it. Call all the pharmacies in town and just be patient.


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