Lupus medication studied for COVID-19 cure creates shortage for lupus survivors

Lifestyle

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Researchers are investigating Lupus medication as a potential cure to Coronavirus, But those in need of the drug are now having trouble accessing their prescriptions because of the studies.

One local South Carolina woman is reaching out to Congress.

The name of the pill is Hydroxychloroquine, which is also known as it’s brand name Plaquenil.

For lupus survivors… it could be their life line.

According to President Donald Trump, he suggested it to be a potential cure for COVID-19.

Executive Director, Crowning Lupus, Jade Nealious, says, “we had already heard that they were using the drug in research for COVID-19, but it had never been proven. A lot of survivors, since that statement came out, they’re having trouble getting their prescription filled because pharmacies are running out.”

Nealious is an advocate for lupus survivors. She also lives with the inflammatory disease herself. She says this medication is detrimental if it’s not taken.

Nealious recalls a time when it happened to her.

“Just in day-to-day contact at work, grocery stores, gas stations, catching the flu,” she says, “and I was hospitalized for a whole week and then ended up having to be out of work for an entire month because I had a low immune system.”

Nealious says the Pharmacy Association for South Carolina is making sure lupus survivors will get the medication needed, but for other states, she says, that’s not the case. So, she’s headed to Congress.

“So, we’re like hey you can make a difference simply by taking 10 to 20 seconds to sign this petition for Congress and, you know, help us help you,” says Nealious.

Those receiving the petition are Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, as well as Georgia House Representative Rick Allen.

“If it could potentially cure COVID-19 of course you want that to help all these families that are struggling, but at the same time, you want to make sure that lupus patients have this medication at their disposal so they’re not ending up hospitalized as well,” says Nealious.

To see the petition, CLICK HERE.

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