This post is not to argue for or against the off-label use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 since there are already some good thoughts from the CDC on it. The main thing people should take away is that the CDC mentions “hydroxychloroquine is currently under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and treatment of patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. ”
What is more concerning to me is how there are rumblings from the pharmacy community of doctors prescribing large amounts of tablets for themselves and/or for their family members. This large amount is assumed to be an attempt to stockpile the medication for use as prevention/treatment of COVID-19. I guess toiler paper isn’t the only thing we are stockpiling. This is frequent enough that Washington’s Medical Commission sent out a statement asking “pharmacists to act with their best discretion to ensure patients continue to receive appropriate treatment in time of shortages.” The appropriate treatment of hydroxychloroquine would be lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria and NOT for prophylaxis of COVID-19. We are potentially creating a drug shortage for people who actually need it, ie people with approved indications for it.
Again, I want to emphasize that I am not against the use of hydroxychloroquine for clinical studies. I also feel at this point (3/25/2020), there are probably good reasons for physicians to prescribe off-label use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients who are critically ill. So the hoarding hydroxychloroqine would, to me, be purposely slowing down clinical studies and hurting critically ill COVID-19 patients.
In short, hoarding of toilet paper might leave someone in “deep shit,” pun intended, but hoarding of hydroxychloroquine will leave someone in deep shit health wise.
Stay safe everybody!