COVID-19 drug chloroquine on sale in Korean stores

Chloroquine failed to show any benefit against COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped online stores in South Korea selling it illegally to the public.

Chloroquine and related drug hydroxychloroquine are not approved for use in Korea, but packs of the medicines have been found in two secondhand online shops called Danggeun Market and Junggonara, according to an article in the Korea Biomedical Review.

The products included a brand of chloroquine called Lariago that is usually manufactured by Indian drugmaker Ipca Laboratories. The sellers of the drugs said they directly purchased them from overseas online shops, and as yet it is not known if they are genuine or counterfeit.

Chloroquine is usually used to treat malaria, but was unable to have an impact on the duration of hospitalisation or mortality in people with severe COVID-19. It isn’t recommended as a treatment for coronavirus infections by the World health Organization (WHO), and could be harmful.

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