COVID-19 & Access to Hydroxychloroquine
At present the trials are ongoing and there isn’t sufficient evidence to conclude whether it will be effective. Science Magazine stated that the available evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine work against COVID-19 was ‘thin’. The U.S. Society of Critical Care Medicine said “there is insufficient evidence to issue a recommendation on the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in critically ill adults with COVID-19.”
In the past few days the Lupus Assoctaion of NSW has received some reports from people with lupus who have been unable to collect their prescription, with their pharmacist currently unable to order the medication from their suppliers. Hydroxychloroquine is taken by many patients for a variety of rheumatological conditions and, as far as we’re aware, no other patient organisations have reported a similar instance of shortages at present.
No person with a rheumatological condition, such as lupus, should attempt to stockpile hydroxychloroquine. Such actions would be counterproductive and could contribute to a completely artificial shortage affecting other people with the disease.
We don’t yet know how effective hydroxychloroquine might be against COVID-19. What we do know, is that if people with lupus who have been prescribed hydroxychloroquine stop taking this medication, their disease could flare. This can in itself be a life-threatening situation, unnecessarily burdening the health service, but it also increases the vulnerability of already at-risk patients to COVID-19 infection.
Given this, we have acted early and written to the Federal Health Minister to ensure that the supply of hydroxychloroquine to patients remains secure and to look into how we can make this supply even more robust in the coming months.
If you have experienced difficulty obtaining hydroxychloroquine, please Contact Us.
We will share more information as the situation develops.