Patients struggle to get needed drug due to usage in experimental treatment

Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 07:05:03-04

(WXYZ) — Olivia Babiuk came to a Walgreens in Troy and other Meijer pharmacies to fill prescriptions she desperately needs for auto immune disease, but says it’s almost impossible to find what she’s been prescribed because of how doctors are now treating COVID-19.

“This is really a problem every American should pay attention to” Babiuk said.

For six months she’s been taking hydroxychloroquine. Recently, she’s been finding it almost impossible to fill her crucial prescriptions. The reason is doctors using the same drug experimentally for treatment of coronavirus.

“I did the automated refill at first and it said it could not be processed," she said. "I spoke with a pharmacist and they couldn’t give me an estimate on when they’re getting this medicine back in.”

Babiuk adds that she only has a few pills left and fears many others are in the same situation.

“We’re going to run out of this medication if we don’t use it appropriately” says health expert Dr. Michael Lutz, who is the president and founder of Michigan Institute of Urology Men’s Health Foundation. He says research and science must guide how the drug is being prescribed.

“WSU and Henry Ford are already doing trials of Hydroxychloroquine," Lutz adds. "Let them do their trials.”

Lutz also says if patients who depend on the medication don’t get it, the outcome could be very serious.

“These are people who need the drug. If they don’t get it, their disease will flare," he said.

For now, Babiuk says pharmacies are refusing to give out more than a 14-day supply.

“This is the USA. There should not be a shortage of any medicine” Babiuk said.

She also wants to point out, everyone deserves proper medical care and medication. She says her heart goes out to all those battling COVID-19 as well.

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