Coronavirus: panic over chloroquine

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are finding it increasingly difficult to find their daily treatment, Plaquenil. It contains “chloroquine” which everyone hopes can be a remedy for the coronavirus.

“A person I know is under Plaquenil. The pharmacies replied that they no longer had any. How can she get her treatment? “In recent days, testimonies and calls for help are multiplying: pharmacies lack this drug and for good reason, its molecule is hydroxychloroquine, the treatment recommended by the now famous professor Raoult against covid-19.

Daily treatment

Except that Plaquenil is also a drug used in the background treatment of certain joint diseases of inflammatory origin, primarily rheumatoid arthritis, and other pathologies such as lupus.

People with lupus, 40,000 French people, must take this treatment daily, and, theoretically, have access to it in pharmacies, even without an updated prescription, as decided by the decree of March 15 on the simplification of access to medicines. But the France Lupus association entrusted it to the Parisian, it currently receives around forty daily calls from patients in distress.

Reassuring sanofi

President of the association, Johanna Clouscard notably denounced an unreasonable rush on this drug in view of a possible contamination with Covid-19 – Plaquenil was sold without prescription. This was before the government decreed that treatment with chloroquine could only be administered in hospitals in the context of the health crisis.

Is there a shortage of Plaquenil? Its manufacturer, the Sanofi laboratory, ensures that there is no shortage of supply, that stocks are manufactured and that they “will arrive in the coming days”. It remains to be seen who it will be used for, knowing that a national study on the usefulness of this antimalarial in the treatment of Covid-19 has started.

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