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This study characterized restrictions on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) prescriptions in six Florida-based large retail pharmacies. All pharmacies prohibited new prescriptions in excess of a 14- or 30-day supply, and three pharmacies reduced prescriptions for refills to 30-day supplies at a time.
Although limited by a small number, this study reflects the current increased demand for HCQ during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with associated heightened scrutiny of prescriptions. With such restrictions, patients with chronic dermatologic and rheumatologic conditions may be at risk, especially those with newly diagnosed conditions that require HCQ. Increased clarification queries on ICD codes and imposed quantity limits may be anticipated when prescribing HCQ. The authors remind dermatologists to uphold proper prescription practices.
– InYoung Kim, MD, PhD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Hydroxychloroquine has long been utilized by dermatologists in the treatment of chronic disease, with use across such broad conditions as connective tissue disease, sarcoidosis, to lichen planopilaris. The medication has generally enjoyed wide availability at a more affordable cost. Earlier this year, hydroxychloroquine became a household name after political leaders touted the drug’s efficacy in the treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19. As demand for hydroxychloroquine grew, pharmacies reported shortfalls in supply, and began implementing restrictions on dispensation.1 Our study seeks to characterize these restrictions in Florida-based locations of the nation’s most profitable retail pharmacies.