23 March 2020 – Authorised certain drugs to be used to treat COVID-19 patients

Intervention Categories: Drug-based measures; Legal and policy; Regulatory change; International relations; International trade and travel
Level of Jurisdiction: National

Overview: The French government authorised doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir to be used to treat patients with COVID-19.

The drugs were approved by the Council of Public Health and were recommended for patients with pneumonia or oxygen deficiency. Paracetamol and rivotril were also authorized to be used in an injectable form.

In order to ensure the drugs are available to patients, the bill prohibited pharmacies from exporting hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir.

These drugs can only be sold by pharmacies to people holding a prescription from an authorized doctor. The government also limited the sale of paracetamol to two boxes per customer and prohibited the online sale of paracetamol. In the case that drugs intended for human use ran out, they could be substituted with veterinary drugs used for similar therapeutic purposes.
Full details here: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000041746694&categorieLien=cid