3 Apr 2020

Coronavirus: Pharmac restricts access to hydroxychloroquine

From Morning Report, 7:17 am on 3 April 2020

A malaria drug touted by US President Donald Trump as a "game changer" in the fight against Covid-19 has been in high demand in New Zealand, leading Pharmac to put restrictions on its use.

The government drug buying agency says hydroxychloroquine will still be available for DHBs which are now involved in trials to see whether it could help prevent or limit the impact of Covid-19 - or even cure it.

Infectious disease experts spoken to by RNZ were cautious about over-hyping the drug but all believe it has promise - with one saying it was among the leading contenders for a possible cure.

Investigative Journalist Guyon Espiner has the story.