COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine


COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine

Media release from Pharmac

There has been a lot of interest around the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 cases.

There has not been any specific evidence to confirm its efficacy for this indication.

Restricting access

Effective from Tuesday, 24 March 2020, PHARMAC has restricted funded access to this medicine to make sure it is available for patients who need it for its registered indications.

We will restrict the funded supply to the following indications only (i.e. Medsafe approved indications):

  • active rheumatoid arthritis
  • systemic and discoid lupus erythematosus
  • malaria treatment
  • malaria suppression.

Clinical trials for treating COVID-19

PHARMAC is aware that several DHBs will be taking part in randomised clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19, including use of hydroxychloroquine.

DHB hospitals will be purchasing medicines for use in these trials from sources outside of the contracted suppliers, meaning this will not impact supply for funded patient groups.

Who to contact: If you have questions about this change to the restrictions around hydroxychloroquine, email