ST. CLOUD -- Like hand sanitizer and toilet paper, some medications were in short supply in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic here in the United States.

CentraCare pharmacist David Thomas says inhalers were especially difficult for people with asthma to get.

We did see it very difficult to get certain inhalers.  Asthmatics were really worried because COVID is a respiratory disease, so they were really worried.

Thomas says there was also a rush of people stocking up on the drug hydroxychloroquine when President Donald Trump first mentioned it as a possible treatment for coronavirus. He says they do have it back in stock now.

Thomas says locally it is prescribed to people with auto-immune diseases like lupus, and you do need it to be prescribed to you by a doctor.

You cannot ask for that, no.  We have had people that have asked for it, but you do need a prescription from a doctor to get that particular medication.

Thomas says there was an early French study that indicated the drug might be effective in fighting COVID-19, but they have now said they didn't do a good enough study on it to make that determination.

President Donald Trump attacked the validity of a study of veterans that raised alarms about the malaria drug he actively promotes as a treatment for the coronavirus. Trump's remarks came Tuesday as he defended his decision to take hydroxychloroquine himself to protect against COVID-19.

Trump's own government warns that the drug should be administered for COVID-19 only in a hospital or research setting.

Thomas says they are also experiencing a lot more mail out orders these days with people reluctant to come into the pharmacy to pick-up their prescriptions in person.

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