When President Trump promoted the malaria drug
hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in the spring, demand
for the product jumped. Most of the subsequent debate has been about the
efficacy of the drug as a treatment for prophylaxis for COVID-19. But arguably as
important is what happens to the market when a new cure or treatment is
developed. The market for hydroxychloroquine provides some lessons.
As I report in my new paper, the quality of the hydroxychloroquine available on the web was not universally good. Over three months (late April to early July) the drug was procured from international web pharmacies. Using a handheld spectrometer, quality was assessed in line with previous peer review studies. 48 samples were bought