"Because so many people are calling right now and asking their doctor for prescriptions, the drug is not available for the people that need it," the actor explained.
During a time of so much uncertainty amid the coronvirus pandemic, Justin Baldoni is reminding everyone to think of others, rather than just themselves.
The "Jane the Virgin" star took to his Instagram on Monday to urge everyone to stop hoarding the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in case they contract COVID-19 as there are people with medical conditions who rely on the drug.
"Hey everyone. You're going to get a little bit of a different tone from me right now. This is the protective big brother and friend talking to you," Baldoni, 36, began in a video. "I know everybody's scared. We want to protect ourselves and our families. But please do not call your doctor and try to stock on a prescription for hydroxychloroquine."
He continued, "I know Trump said it might work -- I know it is working in some situations as a cocktail -- but you do not need to panic or out of fear try to get the drug just in case you get it and here's why."
The actor explained how he has two close friends -- one with lupus and the other who has rheumatoid arthritis -- who both take hydroxychloroquine.
"Both of them depend and rely on this drug," Baldoni said. "And because so many people are calling right now and asking their doctor for prescriptions, the drug is not available for the people that need it. You don't have to be proactive, there will be plenty of it to go around."
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I apologize for the temporary shift in tone. I’m in big brother / best friend mode right now because my friend just told me her pharmacist can’t keep it in stock and she needs it for her #lupus. Also if you’re a doctor, please consider being extra diligent to make sure your patients actually need it. When we panic buy and hoard, it’s hurts our most vulnerable. I know this comes from fear. I know there is so much uncertainty in the world right now. But in that moment of anxiety, take a physical breath and connect back to your core. Connect back to love. Don’t let fear win. We are all in this together.
The "Five Feet Apart" director expressed that he understands why people feel the need to stock up on the drug.
"I feel you. You want to stock up on something that might keep you safe and protect your family," he said, "but if we all go rush somewhere and do something out of fear or panic than the people that need it most don't have access to it."
"And right now we need to think of the whole, not just ourselves," he concluded. "That's going to get us through this. So please, okay, consider staying home, taking a breath and relaxing. That's how we're going to beat this thing together. It's not by stocking up on hydroxychloroquine."
Baldoni echoed his thoughts in the post's caption, adding that his friend who has lupus said her pharmacist "can't keep [the drug] in stock." He also relayed a message for doctors, urging them to "please consider being extra diligent to make sure your patients actually need it."
Watch the full video, above.
Baldoni's messsage comes after President Donald Trump has praised the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, both anti-malaria drugs, as a way to treat the coronavirus.
Last Saturday, he called the combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin (also known as a Z-Pak), "one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine."
However, health experts and the FDA have urged caution as the evidence up until now has been strictly anecdotal. In fact, after Trump endorsed the drugs, Nigeria reported two cases of poisoning due to chloroquine.
Amy Abernathy, principal deputy commissioner of the FDA, said that a randomized controlled trial would be necessary before hydroxychloroquine can be used as treatment for COVID-19.
"As the question of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 comes to the table, we need to ask, in a judicious way, what are the data that support this particular intervention," she said at a Wall Street Journal conference Tuesday, per Barrons. "As FDA, we are focusing very hard on how do we make sure the data get generated, how do we make sure the data are reliable."
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