Demand for malaria drug to treat COVID-19 falls amid warnings of serious side effects

Maia Anderson - Print  | 

Demand for hydroxychloroquine has fallen significantly as hospitals become more wary of using the drug after more public health officials have warned about serious side effects, STAT reported. 

From April 17 to April 24, hospitals' demand for the drug traditionally used to treat malaria fell 62 percent according to Vizient, a group purchasing organization. 

A growing number of public health officials have warned against using the drug in COVID-19 patients until more data is available from clinical trials, according to STAT

The FDA issued a warning last week about serious side effects of the drug, including heart rhythm problems. 

The supply of hydroxychloroquine has increased as several drugmakers, including Bayer, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Novartis, have donated millions of pills to the Strategic National Stockpile, according to STAT

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