A pharmacy based in Draper, Utah, finds itself in trouble with the law as they recently imported from China 50 kilos of chloroquine and over 500 kilos of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug once considered a treatment for COVID-19. The drug is still being used in clinical trials targeting COVID-19, such as the prominent African clinical trial known as ANTICOV. KUTV’s McKenzie Stauffer recently reported that Daniel Richards, CEO of Meds in Motion, received the shipment from China but that the firm wasn’t “…duly registered as a drug manufacturer with [the] Food and Drug Administration.” Apparently, according to local court documents, the drug product was falsely labeled as “Boswellia Serrata Extract” also known as Frankincense, an herbal treatment used in the treatment of arthritis, inflammation and other ailments. The CEO was apparently charged in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on misdemeanor charges for receiving “misbranded drugs in interstate commerce,” reported Ms. Stauffer. Hydroxychloroquine represented significant business as in March, before the FDA emergency use authorization was revoked, as Utah paid $800,000 to Meds in Motion for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. By April, the FDA issued their warning about the drug. This revocation disrupted Meds in Motion’s deal with the Utah Department of Health for another 200,000 additional unit purchases.
Of course, CEO Richards is innocent until proven otherwise. Although the hydroxychloroquine discussion is over in the U.S. in the popular press, there are still some “camps” of physicians that swear by its use. And as TrialSite has reported, although there have been more studies pointing to a lack of efficacy than those that reveal the contrary, there are physicians/researchers that note the drug wasn’t used in the early stages for many studies—the appropriate stage for its use they argue. A review of Clinicaltrials.gov reveals at least 114 ongoing clinical trials involving the use of hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 patents. But any number of studies have revealed that the drug has no efficacy concerning COVID-19, such as one prominent one involving the University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare.