For sale in Oklahoma: a large stockpile of hydroxychloroquine.


The Oklahoma Department of Health is still trying to unload a stockpile of hydroxychloroquine — an antimalarial drug touted by former President Trump as a “miracle” cure for Covid-19 despite a lack of evidence that it effectively treats the disease — that it purchased for $2 million last spring.

Mike Hunter, the state’s attorney general, has been brought on to assist the health department in selling back the drug, Alex Gerszewski, a spokesman for Mr. Hunter, said on Tuesday.

The state is attempting to sell the stockpile back to the company it purchased it from, FFF Enterprises, a California-based health care distributor, or to find another buyer, Mr. Gerszewski said. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Oklahoma has been trying to unload the stockpile for months. In July, the state health department told News 9, a local television news station, that it was “working to sell it.”

A spokesman for the health department confirmed on Tuesday that the stockpile was still in the department’s possession but referred questions about the attempted return to the attorney general’s office.

Early, seemingly promising results, bolstered by political pressure, prompted the Food and Drug Administration to grant hydroxychloroquine an emergency authorization for use in very sick Covid-19 patients. Follow-up studies, however, found the drug neither sped recovery nor prevented healthy people from contracting the coronavirus or progressing to serious disease.

The F.D.A. revoked its emergency approval in June. The agency now warns that hydroxychloroquine can cause dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm in coronavirus patients.

In April, Mr. Trump said he would place millions of hydroxychloroquine doses into a federal stockpile for use on Covid-19 patients. In May, he said he had been taking it himself, even though he was not infected with the coronavirus.

When Mr. Trump contracted the virus in October, he received an antibody cocktail and remdesivir, an antiviral drug. Hydroxychloroquine was not mentioned as part of his treatment.


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