Two local pharmacies donate medicine to fight COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

1,000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets given to CoxHealth

Sater Pharmacy in Cassville and Plaza Pharmacy in Shell Knob, which have the same owner, pulled resources together to help the fight against COVID-19 in a big way.

The pharmacies donated 1,000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets to Cox Hospital in Springfield to aid in the treatment of COVID-19.

Ryan Harness, pharmacist at Sater Pharmacy, said the tablets are generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and malaria.

“We heard of a preliminary study out of Japan that was showing Hydroxychloroquine is effective in helping patients recover from COVID-19,” he said. “It is the most promising thing we have heard so far.”

Harness said the information became available last week, and no wholesaler has any available at this time.

“Cox didn’t have any, and they couldn’t get any,” he said. “We had about 400 tablets at Sater and 600 at Plaza Pharmacy that we were able to donate.”

The 1,000 donated tablets carry a value of nearly $300, and the price of those tablets will most likely go up as the demand for it goes up.

“As far as treatments go, this is the only thing available on the market,” he said. “We are hoping the product will become more available.”

Harness said as the pharmacy receives deliveries of the product, so will hospitals, so there shouldn’t be a need to donate again.

“We are open to another donation if it is needed,” he said. “We are trying to stay on top of the situation. It is very fluid and is changing daily, and it is so new with limited data on it that it is hard to foresee what will happen.”

The thought process behind the donation was to help facilitate in solving the needs of the many rather than individual needs.

“Cox will have a better overall use for the medication and will be able to help more people,” he said.

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  • First I want to say the spirit of the contribution is wonderful but I have a few issues. As a veterinarian with almost 40 years of working with populations and disease outbreaks, I've never seen an instance where 1 pharmaceutical be to the answer to the outbreak. The anecdotal evidence published by the Japanese doctors is a bit like running your canoe aground and fixing it with J-B Weld and saying that all we need to keep the Titanic from sinking is lots of J-B Weld. We are a long, long, long way from determining if the Hydroxychloroquine will be effective in Covid 19 disease. There are a lot of complicated statistical and epidemiologic principles that keep anyone (other than the president) from proving the drug is effective. Obviously the most important principle is to keep the Titanic from hitting the iceberg. All the social distancing, hand washing and other sanitation practices are the most important. I want to congratulate and laud Dr. Asbil of the Cassville schools, the local banks, Barry Electric and other local businesses who have taken seriously the gravity of the situation and have taken important public health protection steps to keep the Titanic from hitting the iceberg.

    -- Posted by davidecupps on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 7:18 PM
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