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Coronavirus Panic Could Be Leading To Prescription Fraud

Coronavirus has certainly changed the United States and the entire world in a matter of weeks. We are in uncharted territory, and many of us are trying to figure out not only what the new normal is, but we are also wondering how long it is going to last. And on top of the uncertainty of figuring out how to live our day-to-day lives, there may be repercussions that we never anticipated.

Misleading Information

When people are anxious about their health and welfare during a pandemic, it can be all too easy to grasp for whatever straws there may be to protect themselves from catching the virus. And while the internet has become a life source and rescue for many of us who are now confined to our homes, the internet is also a place where rumors and flat-out false information can spread.

Unfortunately, some prominent peopleincluding the President of the United States, have touted some drugs as being “effective” against COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine—often used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis—are flying off the shelves, and there have been reports that doctors are prescribing them to themselves, their family members, and friends. 

The spike in demand has been so extreme that the people who rely on these drugs to treat their medical conditions are now having trouble getting their prescriptions filled. Whether driven by doctors or patients, much of that increased demand can potentially be prescription drug fraud.

Other Repercussions

Another fallout from promoting these kinds of drugs is that it has led to one man’s death. In Arizona this week, a man and his wife took chloroquine phosphate, which is an additive used to clean aquariums. They both became sick within 30 minutes of ingesting the chloroquine phosphate and were taken to an emergency room. The man died, and his wife is now recuperating in ICU.

The wife told NBC news,

I had (the substance) in the house because I used to have koi fish. I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you find that you can’t get your medications filled because they have suddenly disappeared off the shelves, or if you have become sick after taking something that was promoted as being a cure-all against the coronavirus, you may have a legitimate medical malpractice case. Contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian to learn how they can help you. 

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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