Chloroquine was high in demand in pharmacies on Friday, after US President Donald Trump touted the drug as a “tremendous promise” in the fight against covid-19.
After the news spread like wildfire “people asked us for it (chloroquine) but we only offer it with a doctor’s prescription,” chairwoman of the Pancyprian pharmaceutical association Eleni Piera told the Cyprus News Agency.
“The information we have from the health insurance organisation (HIO) is that we should not give it out.”
Chloroquine is widely used for malaria treatments but has yet to be tested against covid-19. “There are a lot of reasons why I think it could have a positive effect,” Trump said. “It’s been out for years and we know it could be taken safely.”
There have been at least three studies demonstrating the drug’s efficacy against the coronavirus. However the drug is so old to the market, it has become generic and no pharmaceutical company owns the patent. The companis are working on a vaccine which could take at leat 18 months, reports say.
Indian doctors reported this week they cured two cases of coronavirus using a cocktail of four drugs including chloroquine.