A doctor in Central Florida says he got upset after a pharmacy refused to dispense medication he had prescribed for a patient diagnosed with COVID-19.
Dr. Speros Hampilos said the patient called him and said the CVS Pharmacy located in St. Petersburg would not fill the prescription for hydroxychloroquine, which has been approved in past years to treat malaria with some medical personnel using it to treat people sick with the coronavirus.
“When my assistant gave the COVID-19 diagnosis CVS said, 'sorry we can’t dispense the drug,'” Hampilos told NBC affiliate WFLA-TV. “This is the first time we’ve been asked for a diagnosis and was declined.”
Hampilos said he was able to call another pharmacy and got the prescription filled.
CVS issued a statement to the station saying in part:
“Our goal is to limit stockpiling of medication that could result in future shortages and gaps in care. Our pharmacies are following dispensing guidelines regarding the use of these medications for COVID-19 that have been established in certain states. In states with no guidelines, our pharmacies are limiting the dispensing for COVID-19 treatment to a 10-day supply with no refills.”
Hampilos called the statement “unacceptable” and said he plans on reaching out to members of Congress to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
““If I would have said malaria or lupus, I’d probably would have gotten it,” he said.