Chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, has been introduced for a number of days because the miracle treatment within the face of the Covid-19 epidemic. A lot in order that pharmacies are stormed in France. Harmful conduct in response to a number of specialists interviewed by France 24.
Offered because the miracle remedy towards coronavirus, ought to we rush to chloroquine? This molecule, marketed by the Sanofi laboratory underneath the title of Plaquenil, is experiencing a sudden revival of notoriety as a result of it’s half, amongst different medication, of the therapies underneath research to struggle towards the pandemic.
Professor Didier Raoult, director of the Institut hospitalo-universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée An infection de Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), recommends generalizing its use to deal with Covid-19 after a scientific trial on solely 25 sufferers. Media retailers which have generated an actual rush in the direction of the molecule in pharmacies, whereas many scientists declare that these outcomes must be confirmed first.
>> Learn additionally: Chloroquine, an outdated drug for the brand new coronavirus?
"Presently, there’s a excessive demand for this drug in pharmacies. We’re additionally witnessing a rise in prescriptions for it," confirms Philippe Besset, president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF), contacted by France. 24.
For Nivaquine (a drug based mostly on chloroquine), the wholesaler-distributor OCP famous "a robust improve in requests from pharmacists. For the reason that finish of February, they’ve multiplied by 30". This date "corresponds to the looks of the primary circumstances of Covid-19 in Europe and the rising media protection round scientific trials based mostly on chloroquine", provides the corporate.
Hydroxychloroquine, a by-product of chloroquine, is utilized in specific for the remedy of lupus, an autoimmune illness, in addition to different power pathologies, specifically inflammatory ailments.
"It’s a listed treatment, that’s to say that it requires a prescription to be disbursed", explains Carine Wolf-Thal, president of the order of Pharmacists, interviewed by France 24. "This measure dates from January 2020. In idea, it’s prescribed just for the indications listed on its advertising authorization (MA), that’s to say ailments corresponding to lupus or polyarthritis. "
"Prescribers can all the time make prescriptions outdoors this advertising authorization", continues Carine Wolf-Thal. "However whether or not it’s within the case of the coronavirus or as a common rule, this prescription is all the time completed underneath their accountability and have to be indicated on the prescription. These are the sorts of prescriptions that we now have seen flowering in latest occasions. "
In direction of a scarcity of Chloroquine ?
The huge diversion of this drug raises fears of a scarcity for power sufferers who actually need it.
"Plaquénil is the essential remedy for our illness", explains Johanna Clouscard, president of the Lupus France affiliation, interviewed by franceinfo. His two tablets a day enable him to keep away from pores and skin harm and joint ache attributable to this power autoimmune illness. His affiliation reviews a number of subject journeys the place sufferers complain of a remedy not discovered
"In the present day, there aren’t any extra shares in pharmacies," confirms the president of the FSPF, Philippe Besset.
In the present day a affected person requested me once more for #Chloroquine. I can’t say it sufficient: we don’t (nearly) have it, we don’t give this treatment as a preventative and there are sufferers who REALLY want it. Let’s anticipate the outcomes of the experiment. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/bB67jOjnHi
– Philippe Besset (@PhilippeBesset) March 23, 2020
For Carine Wolf-Thal, "there isn’t a scarcity of chloroquine. Pharmacies can not order large shares. They’re restricted by wholesalers exactly to keep away from a scarcity."
And the sector is organized for power sufferers. The Sanofi laboratory has specifically arrange a particular quantity for pharmacists to acquire the drug for individuals who actually need it, explains the president of the Order of Pharmacists.
"We have now to indicate our toes now," explains Philippe Besset. "You will need to contact the laboratories instantly and current a prescription dated January or February demonstrating that the affected person does have a power illness."
In entrance of the debates attributable to chloroquine, the Minister of Well being, Olivier Véran, introduced on Monday March 23 a decree to "supervise" its use.
"With this decree, chloroquine derivatives can solely be used within the context of a trial or in a hospital atmosphere. The drug will likely be reserved for individuals who want it and who’ve prescriptions in accordance with advertising authorizations. ", concludes Carine Wolf-Thal.
Based on the French Society of Pharmacy, the 2 medication have a slim therapeutic margin, which signifies that the efficient dose and the poisonous dose are comparatively shut. The 2 specialists interviewed by France 24 warn towards any self-medication towards the coronavirus.
"The directions for hydroxychloroquine and the Medicines Company checklist the widespread unintended effects. They vary from partial lack of visible acuity, to nausea and digestive issues. Extra not often and particularly extra severe, they will trigger coronary heart failure. ", explains Philippe Besset.
Past the attainable toxicity of the remedy, the opposite threat is to choose a remedy which isn’t probably the most tailored to the virus.
"It looks like chloroquine is the drug that may save us all. But there are different therapies, together with antivirals or retrovirals," says Carine Wolf-Thal.
"If the affected person has a gentle kind – which represents 85% of circumstances – paracetamol is sufficient. No want to show your self to the dangers and unintended effects of chloroquine. For extreme or extreme circumstances, It’s as much as caregivers to guage if chloroquine is probably the most acceptable remedy relying on the affected person's situation and well being issues, says the president of the order of pharmacists. We should belief hospital employees and analysis groups ".