The state has received a donation of hydroxychloroquine, a drug typically used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases such as lupus that has shown promise for treating COVID-19 in critically ill patients, the Department of Consumer Protection announced Thursday.
The donation from Amneal Pharmaceuticals, received with help from DCP's Drug Control Division and the Connecticut Hospital Association, will be distributed to acute care hospitals and made available to critically ill patients. The FDA has authorized emergency use of the drug to treat COVID-19 in certain patients.
The medication will ship directly to medical facilities, based on the number of beds they are licensed for, with extra allotments sent to hospitals supporting or planning to support recovery centers. Hospitals may share their allotment with other hospitals if necessary as long as they follow procedures set by the DCP Drug Control Division.
The donation amounts to 400,000 tablets, or 4,000 bottles, of 200mg tablets.
“We work hard every day to ensure that patients in Connecticut have the medication that they need – and to ensure that medication is safe. As pharmacists, we care deeply about making sure that medication is not only available, but that it’s prescribed and administered safely – and that it’s the best possible option for the patient. On behalf the Drug Control Division, and all of DCP, I want to thank Amneal Pharmaceuticals for their donation.” said Rodrick Marriott, state drug control director, in a press release.
Experts have said while this medication is safe when used properly, it can be dangerous if taken without monitoring by a medical professional, and is not something people should seek out to treat themselves at home.