FDA orders drug stores to require prescription for anti-malaria pills

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Saturday, March 28, directed pharmacies and drug stores to strictly require the presentation of physician’s prescriptions by individuals looking to purchase anti-malaria pills.

Based on FDA Advisory No. 2020-450, the FDA said there is a need to ensure that only those with malaria and chronic inflammatory diseases will be able to purchase hydroxychloroquine.

“FDA reiterates to all licensed drugstores and pharmacies to sell drugs and medicines with physician’s prescription,” said the FDA.

“The FDA appeals to the pharmacies to cater to patients with established indications of this drug,” it furthered.

Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug and is also used for the treatment of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile inflammatory arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

The FDA issued the reminder amid the sudden increase in the purchase of Hydroxychloroquine due to reports that it can help prevent or cure coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The agency said it is not advisable to sell Hydroxychloroquine to individuals that are looking to use it for other illnesses as it can result to hampered supplies.

“Amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we do not want to leave our patients, who have other life threatening and debilitating diseases, with nothing to use for their treatment,” said the FDA. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)