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A 42-year-old woman from the Los Angeles area diagnosed with lupus said her doctor had stopped filling her prescription for chloroquine – and sent her a message thanking her for the “victim” to treat the seriously ill with the coronavirus.
The woman, identified only by her first name Dale, said she received a message on Tuesday from Kaiser Permanente, a major healthcare provider based in Oakland, California, informing her that the company was currently being supplied with Reserve plaquenil / hydroxychloroquine. The drug will be used to treat “seriously ill people with COVID-1
“The fact that they thanked me for my ‘victim’ is worrying,” Dale told BuzzFeed News. “I have never agreed to sacrifice my health and possibly my life and cannot believe that I will be forced to do so.”
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Dale said she took the drug for 10 years after being diagnosed with lupus, a long-term autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks normal, healthy tissue.
“I am already immunodeficient and if I do not take this medication I am likely to get a lupus flare, which makes serious complications from COVID more likely,” she said.
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In his e-mail message, Kaiser Permanente said: “Hydroxychloroquine builds up a level in the system that remains in the body for an average of 40 days after taking the last dose.
“Thank you for the sacrifice you will make for the seriously ill. Your victim can actually save lives,” the embassy said.
“We work hard every day to continue doing everything we can to find ways to replenish the medication as soon as possible. During this time, you should continue to take the remaining pills that you are scheduled to take unless your prescriber tells you otherwise.
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“Please do not contact your doctor about an emergency procedure to get a refill because prescriptions will not be filled in even if your doctor wrote them,” he continued. “If you are running out of medication and feel that your condition is deteriorating significantly, please contact your doctor to discuss alternative treatments.”
Anna Valdez, Ph.D., RN, a doctor also diagnosed with lupus, said she could not refill her prescription for hydroxychloroquine due to bottlenecks during the coronavirus outbreak. It is unclear who your healthcare provider is.
“Please do not abuse hydroxychloroquine. This medication is vital for people with SLE like me, ”she tweeted on Saturday. “I was told today that my prescription cannot be filled in because the suppliers are completely out. Now I don’t have the medication that I actually need for an incurable disease that I actually have. “
There are no alternatives to medication for many with the disease, the Lupus Foundation of America said in a press release on Monday that discussed bottlenecks.
“Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine are the only methods of preventing inflammation and disease activity that can lead to pain, disability, organ damage, and other serious illnesses.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Nancy Gin, regional medical director for quality and clinical analysis at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, said the company is working to ensure that both COVID-19 patients and patients with severe, acute lupus have access to it Have medication amid bottlenecks.
“Given the real possibility that if we don’t take action to alleviate the shortage, everyone will run out of drugs, so Kaiser Permanente, like other health organizations across the country, has had to take steps to control drug outflow.” Medications to ensure access to critically ill patients, including COVID-19 and patients with acute lupus, “she said.
“Extensive experience and research show that hydroxychloroquine accumulates in the body and continues to work for an average of 40 days after taking the last dose,” she continued. “Until then, we expect the drug manufacturers to ramp up production to meet the increased demand. Until then, we no longer refill routine prescriptions to ensure that we are adequately cared for to care for our sickest patients. “
Last week, four volunteers at the Kaiser Permanente Research Institute in Seattle received the first round of the Moderna Therapeutics vaccine – the start of the first clinical trial since the outbreak began.
Researchers around the world have been working to develop vaccines, diagnostic tests, and treatments for COVID-19 since January 10, when Chinese officials first released the genetic sequence of the novel corona virus. A vaccine is not expected to be made publicly available for at least 18 months.
President Trump announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is providing several experimental drugs, including chloroquine, a malaria-fighting drug, to test whether it helps patients recover from coronavirus. In studies published by South Korea and China, the drug showed promising results for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
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An Arizona man died – and his wife was in critical condition – after self-medication to prevent them from becoming infected with the corona virus. Both ingested an aquarium cleaner containing the drug chloroquine phosphate, which is used as an additive in aquariums to kill microorganisms that could harm fish and other aquatic life. Banner Health later issued a strict warning against illegal COVID-19 treatments.