March 30, 2020
The rheumatology community has been in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and many pharmaceutical companies about the potential shortage of hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) in the COVID-19 epidemic, and we are seeing much progress to increase its production and availability. The LRA especially thanks Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, Mylan N.V., Teva, Bayer and Sun Pharmaceuticals for donating millions of hydroxychloroquine tablets to ensure that over the next few weeks, there is enough of the drug to treat people already taking the drug such as those with lupus as well as those suffering with COVID-19.
Novartis reported March 29 that addition to donating 130 million hydroxychloroquine tablets, the company is supporting clinical trials to test the medicine for COVID-19 and already exploring supplies of its ingredients should trials prove successful.
The LRA also thanks the pharmacy industry for their help in preserving supplies of hydroxychloroquine for people already taking the drug such as our lupus community. Special thanks to CVS and Walgreens! The American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists issued a joint statement supporting state and federal requirements that protect prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and other drugs being written for people already relying on these medications.