BREAKING: California State Authorities Respond to Hydrochloroquine Stockpiling; Patients Can File Complaints
In response to appeals by People with Empathy and advocates statewide, California State authorities are now monitoring the stockpiling and shortage of certain medications in light of the COVID 19 pandemic keeping them from patients who need them for critical maintenance care, especially hydrochloroquine and chloroquine (brand name: Plaquenil), anti-malarial drugs used to treat lupus patients.
Because of the advocacy we helped spur and the leadership provided by Assemblymember Evan Low, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, and Sen. Jim Beall, the California State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has informed state legislative staff and constituents that "patients who legitimately need hydroxychloroquine but are not being dispensed it should file a complaint for delay of therapy."
Complaints can be filed with the California State Board of Pharmacy here. We encourage any patients who have been denied a refill or who have otherwise been unable to
The full statement from the DCA is below.
Statement Regarding Improper Prescribing of Medications Related to Treatment for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is aware of recent news and social media reports of prescribers wrongfully hoarding and prescribing for themselves and family members certain medications referenced in the media relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Several states have recently issued emergency restrictions on how the drugs can be dispensed. Many require that medications be prescribed and dispensed only to patients with a legitimate and current medical condition. Further, the FDA recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization to allow for the use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated by the Strategic National Stockpile for certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
DCA, the Medical Board of California, and the California State Board of Pharmacy remind health care professionals that inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California. Prescribers and pharmacists are obligated to follow the law, standard of care, and professional codes of ethics in serving their patients and public health.
###We thank our state authorities for their attention, and we reiterate that there are no better advocates for patients regardless of their conditions than the chronic patient, rare disease, and disability communities, and we need a unified response to our current crisis.