ORLANDO, Fla. – The drug President Donald Trump has backed during daily White House briefings as the weapon against the coronavirus is back in the spotlight.
The anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine promoted to treat COVID-19 sufferers is in high demand making it hard for people who rely on it to fill their prescriptions.
In the days that followed President Trump’s mention of the drug commonly used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, pharmacies reported there was a shortage.
Florida Pharmacy Association swiftly took action and issued a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis about the shortage.
The recent interest in the obscure drug that has been around for decades has also raised concerns among doctors.
“It has not been proven yet that it will help in curing the coronavirus,” Dr. Melchor Madarang with Premier Medical Associates.
Dr. Madarang said there isn’t enough data to show how Hydroxychloroquine will react to the coronavirus.
“We have to wait until we get a clear sign. 1.) Is it safe? 2.) Is it beneficial and will it cause harm and what will the therapeutic dose be,” Dr. Madarang said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis identified Hydroxychloroquine as the drug physicians have been prescribing to treat patients.
“Obviously this is a novel virus, so there is not an approved treatment regimen. One of the things physicians have been using is this Hydroxychloroquine, usually combined with a Z pack,” Governor DeSantis said.
The Center for Disease Control maintains there are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to treat the coronavirus.