Days after the FDA approved the use of hydrochloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, weekly prescriptions soard from 100k to 300k in one week.
Compounding the issue is a study, which shows that the commonly used treatment for lupus, arthritis and other disorders which was touted by President Trump has proven to be effective in a small study reported by The New York Times. As such, the drug has been placed on the FDA's list of shortages - leaving those with the aforementioned afflictions at risk of not being able to refill their prescriptions, according to Bloomberg.
The news comes after Novartis AG's Sandoz donated over 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, while Bayer AG donated 1 million doses of chloroquine to the national stockpile.
While we are still waiting on the results from clinical studies, compelling anecdotal evidence of the drug's efficacy when combined with azithromycin (Z-Pac) and zinc sulfate has caused several countries to place them on their recommended treatment regemin for the disease.
Some of the nine companies on the FDA’s list that make hydroxychloroquine, including generic-drug giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., said there is a limited supply that is subject to allocation. 4
Others said the drug is available, particularly for existing customers. Increasingly larger shipments of chloroquine are scheduled over the next eight months, according to Natco Pharma Ltd., whose chloroquine is distributed by Rising Pharmaceuticals Inc. -Bloomberg
"The agency is working with manufacturers to assess their supplies and is actively evaluating market demand for patients dependent on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treatment of malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis," the FDA said in a Tuesday evening statement, adding that all manufacturers are ramping up production.