The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently conducted an inspection of the only manufacturer approved by the FDA to import the antimalarial drug quinacrine, which is used to treat lupus symptoms. The manufacturer did not pass inspection, which means they can no longer import quinacrine to the United States until the facility is reinspected or the FDA approves another quinacrine manufacturer.
How is the Lupus Foundation of America helping to address the shortage?
In February 2019, the Lupus Foundation of America in collaboration with American Academy of Dermatology Association, American College of Rheumatology and other organizations (and multiple lupus providers) issued a letter to the FDA asking them to look at the manufacturing facility in a timely manner.
The FDA is aware of our urgency and will pursue reinspection of the manufacturer in India. But currently, the issue seems to be with the company itself not taking steps to submit necessary documents to FDA. When we receive more updates on the status of the manufacturer and/or the availability of this medication we will update our information.
What are my other treatment options if I can’t get quinacrine?
Ask your health care providers about alternate treatment options that you can try until quinacrine is available. Every lupus patient is different and may require a different treatment alternative.
What if I find an online pharmacy that claims it sells quinacrine?
It is important to keep in mind that counterfeit pharmacies can look authentic but the majority of online pharmacies are not approved by the FDA.
To find pharmacies that may still have quinacrine, read up on regulatory information from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and seek VIPPS-accredited pharmacies.