COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine

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 restricted funded access to this medicine to make sure it is available for patients who need it for its registered indications. 

We have restricted 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. 

Pharmacists may annotate the prescription as endorsed if there is a record of prior dispensing of hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine will continue to be funded for those patients who were taking it before the Schedule rule change.

Who to contact

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