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Morrisey: don’t hoard potential coronavirus drug

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, in consultation with the state’s Board of Pharmacy, urges individuals to not hoard prescription drugs that may prove helpful in the fight against coronavirus.

The Board of Pharmacy, itself in coordination with the state’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine, published an emergency rule this past weekend seeking to ensure the prescription drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are only dispensed to individuals with a current, legitimate medical need.

The Attorney General issued a consumer alert Friday evening urging consumers not to hoard precious drug products, such as hydroxychloroquine.

“Every individual should refrain from hoarding any drug product or equipment that could help our state defeat the coronavirus pandemic,” Morrisey said. “I applaud the Board of Pharmacy for implementing its emergency rule. Any medication that has the potential to treat coronavirus must be in enough supply for those who need it most.”

Reports of some prescribers writing prescriptions for these drugs for undiagnosed family, friends and coworkers create concern for the Attorney General, Board of Pharmacy and other experts. They worry such conduct will lead to a shortage of the medication.

The emergency rule limits chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine prescriptions to only those patients with a written diagnosis from a prescriber. Furthermore, the rule limits such prescriptions to no more than 30 tablets with no refills permitted.

The rule, which took effect Saturday, includes an exemption for any patient previously established on the medication prior to the effective date of the rule.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline – 1-800-368-8808 – remains open to anyone wishing to report scams, price gouging or other manners by which bad actors may try to take advantage of consumers during the pandemic. Written complaints can also be filed at www.wvago.gov.

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