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Ducey lays out rules for prescription of drugs claimed to help treat COVID-19

The FDA is still testing chloroquine to see if the claims that it can treat COVID-19 are true.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video about a lupus patient struggling to get a prescription aired March 28, 2020. 

Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order Thursday making it easier to get a refill on necessary prescriptions

But the requirements to fill out a prescription for chloroquine – which has been touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 – have been tightened up. 

Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate are used to treat malaria, and hydroxychloroquine sulfate can prevent or treat lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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The Food and Drug Administration said researchers are trying to find out if chloroquine can stop the virus from spreading within a person's body, but the clinical trials are still ongoing.

Despite this, the FDA authorized emergency use of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate for adults hospitalized with COVID-19 who weigh 110 pounds or more.

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If you're trying to get the anti-malarial drugs to treat COVID-19 in Arizona, you need a prescription with a diagnosis code for COVID-19, and you can't get a refill without another prescription. 

Patients trying to treat the virus are limited to a supply of no more than 14 days. 

You cannot get a prescription unless you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The executive order prohibits preventative prescriptions unless peer-reviewed evidence emerges that shows the drug actually can protect against the disease. 

Patients taking chloroquine for treatment of a disease other than COVID-19 do not have to meet the requirements laid out in the executive order.