CVS Health Corp and Express Scripts, which set pharmacy policies for tens of millions of Americans, are putting in place measures to prevent hoarding of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and other treatments being tried against the new coronavirus.
Walgreens Boots Alliance has placed limits on prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine and the related malaria treatment chloroquine.
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CVS said it would work with clients, which include employers and health insurers, to set an appropriate limit on the drug for potential use in patients with COVID-19.
Express Scripts spokeswoman Jennifer Luddy said in a statement that the limits are in line with board of pharmacy and other state regulations.
"We are seeing a surge in demand for these potential therapies, and are talking with manufacturers regularly about production," Luddy said.
Because the treatment is not widely used, supply of the drug is normally limited. Last week, four makers of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine pills, including Novartis , Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd
Separately, India on Wednesday banned export of hydroxychloroquine and other formulations of the malaria drug while it is being tested for an illness that has sickened about 459,000 people worldwide.