There has been a lot of interest around the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 cases.
Last updated: 30 March 2020
There has not been any specific evidence to confirm its efficacy for this indication.
Effective from Tuesday, 24 March 2020, PHARMAC restricted funded access to this medicine to make sure it is available for patients who need it for its registered indications.
We will restrict the funded supply to the following indications only (i.e. Medsafe approved indications):
- active rheumatoid arthritis
- systemic and discoid lupus erythematosus
- malaria treatment
- malaria suppression.
Pharmacists may annotate the prescription as endorsed if there is a record of prior dispensing of hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine will continue to be funded for those patients who were taking it before the Schedule rule change.
Clinical trials for treating COVID-19
PHARMAC is aware that several DHBs will be taking part in randomised clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19, including use of hydroxychloroquine.
DHB hospitals will be purchasing medicines for use in these trials from sources outside of the contracted suppliers, meaning this will not impact supply for funded patient groups.
Who to contact
If you have questions about this change to the restrictions around hydroxychloroquine, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 29 May 2020