Some concerned about losing access to certain medications, such as drugs for Lupus, as they are considered for treatment of COVID-19

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It has been a worry for a lot of people: Will the coronavirus make it more difficult to get the medications and prescriptions that they need every day?

Some people battling lupus are already seeing an impact.

“People could die from this. It’s very possible people could die from this if they don’t have their medication,” said Julie Komasara. 

Komasara says she was diagnosed with lupus three years ago. In the past, she’s suffered from rashes, extreme headaches and is unable to work because of the autoimmune disease.  

“It effects every aspect of my life.” 

It was medications like Plaqiuenil that Komasara says she was prescribed that helped turn things around for her. 

“Plaquenil is the first medication that doctors put you on when you’re first diagnosed with lupus.” 

Now that medication is in short supply across the U.S. A new study says Planquenil, also known as HQC, helps to treat the coronavirus. However, that hasn’t been proven by the Federal Drug Administration. 

“There is a panic and everyone is scared but there’s no reason to sacrifice one part of the population for another. They probably don’t know that it’s popular medication. People might be a little more hesitant to get theirs.” 

“As of now today the drug can no longer be over prescribed,” Jenny Prince said. 

Tuesday the State Pharmacy Board approved emergency restrictions to limit who can get the drug. Komasara says it’s time more guidelines from the federal level.

“We’re sending a letter to the White House asking them to protect people with lupus and be in a priority group that has access to HQC,” said Prince. “I think we all are a little more anxious and scared and if you can imagine being scared in an already unhealthy body then you might not get your medication then you might get this deadly virus. It’s a very scary time.” 

Komasara says a limited supply of HQC can cause lupus patients to have flare ups and can continue to overwhelm the healthcare system, an unintended consequence the country can’t afford. 

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