Quebec doctor concerned by hydroxychloroquine shortage after patients denied treatment

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It’s been touted as a “miracle drug” in the fight against COVID-19. But experts across Canada are now warning against the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of the disease until further scientific research proves that it helps.

Still, thousands of Quebec patients are now being denied treatment due to an anticipated shortage of the prescription drug.

“Is it really being used in studies on COVID-19 patients, which I think would be very appropriate,” said rheumatologist Dr. Michel Zummer. “Or is it being stockpiled or used otherwise?” he asked, after 300 of his patients were contacted by their pharmacists and told they can no longer fill prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine.

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Quebec pharmacists are now restricting the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine after Quebec’s national institute of excellence in health and social services (INESSS) issued a collective prescription to prepare for a possible shortage of the drug.

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It’s currently being used to treat patients with COVID-19 despite it not being approved by Health Canada for this purpose.

“The issue is we don’t know is how long there will be this shortage of medication,

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