The drug Plaquenil keeps Anna Valdez’s lupus in check. Late last week, as she sheltered in place at her home outside Santa Rosa, California, Valdez called her local pharmacy and ordered a refill to treat her autoimmune disorder, thinking a 90-day supply would help her ride out the coronavirus outbreak. But the pharmacy told her it had only 10 pills left. Valdez called other pharmacies. They, too, had run out.
Valdez and lupus patients around the country have learned in recent days that an extraordinary force has upended the supply chain they all rely on: President Donald Trump. These days, Plaquenil is better known by its generic name, hydroxychloroquine. It is the medication Trump has been hyping as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus, even though it is not approved for this use and there is scant medical evidence so far that it works to treat the virus.
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