Drug imported for Covid-19 trials won’t be given to Australians who need it for other conditions
Clive Palmer bought millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine but those who rely on it for autoimmune conditions will not have access, government says
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The federal government has no plans to make millions of doses of an experimental drug being used in clinical trials on Covid-19 patients available to people who rely on the medicine to treat severe autoimmune conditions, despite Australia’s low number of Covid-19 cases.
The former politician Clive Palmer was granted permission by Australia’s drugs regulator to import the drug, hydroxychloroquine, and the materials required to produce it, so that doses could be added to the national medical stockpile. The drug is used overseas to prevent and treat malaria, and is mostly prescribed in Australia to treat painful symptoms of autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.