If you suffer from lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other critical autoimmune diseases, you may be finding it difficult accessing hydroxychloroquine.
Until the COVID-19 outbreak, hydroxychloroquine was available over the counter in the majority of pharmacies across Spain, but due to an explosion in demand for the drug since the onset of COVID-19 this is no longer the case.
As a result, new regulations published by the Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Alicante on 27 March 2020 effectively limit access to hydroxychloroquine for those in clinical need.
Those reliant on hydroxychloroquine to manage their critical health needs are now required to provide not just a Prescription, but a Letter of Authorisation before the medication is released from a central medical distribution centre; hydroxychloroquine is no longer held in Spain’s pharmacies.
These 5-Steps are intended to help you acquiring hydroxychloroquine:
You need a Prescription for hydroxychloroquine — from your doctor;
You also need a Letter of Authorisation from the General Directorate of Pharmacy and Health Products to access hydroxychloroquine — your doctor must apply for this on your behalf;
When the Letter of Authorization is granted — you will need to collect the letter from your doctor;
Take both the Prescription and the Letter of Authorisation to the pharmacy – the pharmacist will send both documents to the medication distribution centre;
The hydroxychloroquine will be sent to the pharmacy for you to collect.
Under the new regulations, prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine will only provide a single month’s supply of the medication, therefore, the above steps will need to be repeated every month whilst the restrictions are in place.
Not all doctors are aware of this new procedure. A copy of the official regulations to access hydroxychloroquine issued on 27 March 2020 by the Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Alicante can be downloaded HERE.