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Holden Wants Federal Government to Increase Supply of Hydroxychloroquine to New York Pharmacies

Council Member Robert Holden (Facebook)

April 16, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Council Member Robert Holden wants the federal government to increase the supply of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to New York pharmacies in order to help doctors treat people with COVID-19 from home.

Holden said he supports Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to ask U.S. President Trump Donald Trump to raise the federal supply of hydroxychloroquine to New York pharmacies. This would enable the state to lift its current restrictions on purchases of the drug which some doctors have been using to treat patients with COVID-19.

Holden said the move would save lives by giving doctors the ability to prescribe the drug for patients to use at home and would also relieve the burden on crowded hospitals.

Hydroxychloroquine is usually used to treat and prevent malaria but has been prescribed by some doctors to treat COVID-19 patients.

However, the drug has attracted controversy because the FDA has not approved it to be used to treat COVID-19 and President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted it as a mitigation drug for the disease. Some experts have questioned its safety, particularly for heart patients and medical opinion is divided on its efficacy in fighting COVID-19.

Cuomo has also said that there was anecdotal evidence that the drug had positive effects on treating COVID-19.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

In an April 8 letter sent to the governor, Holden said that several of his constituents told him that they were successfully treated with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin at New York hospitals and have fully recovered.

Therefore he wants doctors to be able to administer the drug to patients at home despite the drug not being tested.

“While I understand the need for a conclusive scientific study on the effectiveness of this drug in treating COVID-19, I believe that the anecdotal evidence is too strong to ignore,” Holden wrote.

“Increasing the supply of hydroxychloroquine to New York pharmacies could give doctors the ability to prescribe this treatment at home, keep more people from being admitted to the hospitals, and ultimately save lives,” he said.

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@Mac…My initial understanding was that doctors can only prescribe hydroxychloroquine in a hospital setting. Meaning if you called your own private doctor from home he or she is/was not allowed to prescribe to you through pharmacy pick to use at home. So i think some doctors or people in general headed to the ER just for that reason. I guess it was done to protect the supply and monitor people. Many people are also afraid to go the hospital and i do not know enough about when and who is receiving the test trials at the hospital.


Also it is important to mention that people should document every single interaction with doctors and hospitals. Whether you are advocating for your own health or for the health of a loved one during coronavirus it is important that you have documentation of all conversations and treatments taking place. Unfortunately I learned the hard way years ago when a family member was treated at a local hospital unfairly. Illness and treatment can be a very stressful time and having documentation of all interactions and treatment is useful.


So far the only people saying that hydroxychloroquine helped them recover from coronavirus are celebrities and athletes. Some even praised our president for making them aware which helped them ask for it during their care. I wonder how many people at Elmhursts that died were given hydroxychloroquine and other life saving drugs they are testing as a treatment. My guess is very few.


Thank you for informing the public. Many people do not know that in NYC when this whole pandemic began doctors were informed that they were not allowed to prescribe this medication to at home patients. Only hospitals can administer it to inpatients. This may be a big reason that people headed to the ER and bombarded our healthcare system.


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