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People with Empathy Calls on Gov. Newsom to Protect Access to Hydrochloroquine (Brand: Plaquenil) for Chronic Patients During COVID 19 Response

People with Empathy has released an urgent appeal from our founders Christine Von Raesfeld and Spandan Chakrabarti to California Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators to protect access to lifesaving treatments for chronic illness patients light of the COVID 19 outbreak, particularly hydrochloroquine (brand: Plaquenil) for lupus patients.

We wrote, in part:
We received particularly alarming news ... that Kaiser Permanente had sent notice to its members suffering from lupus that their treatment with hydroxychloroquine (brand name: Plaquenil) will be discontinued in order to preserve supplies for COVID 19 patients. Further, Kaiser noted in their notice to members that their prescriptions would not be filled even if their physician prescribed it. Patients were then “thanked” for their “sacrifice... that might save lives.” While in response to media reports Kaiser noted that it will make hydroxychloroquine available to both COVID 19 patients and lupus patients in critical condition, we note that many lupus patients urgently and critically depend on this treatment, as well as that as of this writing, it is not an FDA-approved treatment for COVID 19. As patient advocates and partners, we strongly oppose any efforts to pit chronic patients against those with acute conditions.  
We urge your office and the State of California to take immediate action to protect lupus patients and others with existing conditions, No one understands the value of coming to the aid of others more compassionately than the patient community, but we must not make this a fractured response at a time that calls for unity of purpose.
We know that the governor is now aware of the situation thanks to the quick attention of Assemblymember Kansen Chu, Assemblymember Evan Low, and Senator Jim Beall.

The full letter is below, and it can also be read here.