Gov. Ducey limits availability of malaria drugs to prevent shortages

From the April’s Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 280 Pima County cases, coronavirus emergency orders leave room for confusion series

Chloroquine and a similar drug, hydroxychloroquine, showed encouraging signs in small, early tests against the new coronavirus./NIAID-RML

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

Arizonans hoping to avoid contracting COVID-19 won’t be able to get their hands on an experimental drug, at least not legally here in the state.

In an executive order Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey barred pharmacists from dispensing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine unless they have a prescription from a doctor saying the patient actually has the virus.

And even in that case, the governor limited the prescription to no more than a 14-day supply, with no refills without a new prescription.

Also, the governor made it easier to get a 90-day supply of other medicines without a prescription, giving pharmacists the authority to dispense the drugs using their best judgments.

The order follows the publication earlier this week of small study by a group of Chinese doctors, which showed patients who received hydroxychloro-quine, a known anti-malaria drug, had more rapid recovery of body temperature and reduced coughing than those in the control group who did not get the drug.

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