BCBS of North Carolina to cover hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine to treat COVID-19

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina said it will cover two drugs currently being investigated as possible treatments for COVID-19 patients: hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, according to The Charlotte Observer

The drugs are being used in clinical trials to test their effectiveness against COVID-19, but have not been approved by the FDA to treat the disease. The drugs are also used to treat chronic conditions such as lupus, and BCBS of North Carolina and other state regulators said they are monitoring the prescriptions to make sure they'll still be available for the chronically ill. 

Pharmacists and patients have reported shortages of the drugs, as pharmacy boards discovered some physicians were excessively prescribing the drugs and keeping some for themselves and their families. The American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists issued a joint statement in disapproval of the practice.

More articles on payers:
Aetna to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 hospitalizations
COVID-19: 6 latest updates from insurers
New York urges insurers to release employed clinicians to help fight COVID-19

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