As a patient advocate who struggles with lupus, an autoimmune disorder, Morley knew this was not just wrong, but dangerously so. He takes hydroxychloroquine(also known as Plaquenil) twice a day to manage his flare-ups. The drug, he says, is “lifesaving” to people in his community — yet thanks to Trump, many people have contacted him terrified, saying they’re unable to access it.
“I’m literally shaking,” he says…
For those who have been regularly taking the drug and have to stop taking it, flareups can be severe, says Lockshin, even possibly deadly depending on the severity of one’s symptoms. Ali Brown, a lupus patient in Ellensburg, Washington, says that the last time she stopped taking Plaquenil, she ended up in the hospital with a double kidney infection and sepsis.
“I don’t panic very often,” she says. “When the pandemic started, I didn’t rush out and buy a bunch of toilet paper or food, but [the prospect of being without my medication] scares me.”