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Cuomo Restricts Malaria Drug As COVID-19 Treatment

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is joining a growing number of states that have moved to restrict access to malaria treatments that President Donald Trump insisted are successful treatment for the novel coronavirus despite a lack of proof they actually work.

Cuomo last night updated his state of emergency executive order to block pharmacists from filling prescriptions for the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for any uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration unless it is for a patient who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is part of a clinical trial.

The medications are not approved to treat coronavirus.

Cohoes Assemblyman John McDonald, who is a pharmacist, praised the governor's move in an email to constituents, saying that HCQ "is indicated for a certain diagnosis such as Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions."

"Patients will still be able to have those prescriptions filled, but any other orders are ONLY for patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or in an approved test," McDonald continued. "Those with COVID-19 will be limited to a 14-day supply of the medication."

"This is being done to prevent hoarding of what may become a lifesaving medication for those who are about to be impacted as we continue to see cases expand."

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