POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

State of Utah receives refund of the $800 thousand purchase of hydroxychloroquine

Apr 29, 2020, 5:56 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm
Utah receives refund on hydroxychloroquine purchase...
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced on Wednesday that the state has received a refund of $800,000 it spent on a compounded version of hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by some as a possible treatment for COVID-19 coronavirus. (Image credit: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A purchase by the state of Utah of compounded chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from a Utah company has been refunded in full.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement released Wednesday that a state supply of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is “no longer prudent.”

“In light of these circumstances, we are grateful that the vendor, Meds in MOtion, accepted our request to refund the $800,000 expended by the state,” the Gov. said in a statement.

“These funds were received by the state earlier this afternoon.”

Meds in Motion, the pharmacy from which Utah purchased the drugs, will donate the medication to charities that can use it immediately, the Governor said.

In the statement, Gov. Herbert defended the purchase of the drugs, saying that a desire to protect hospital resources from being overwhelmed was part of the decision-making process.

“Although reports of efficacy were mixed,” the governor said, “top medical specialists in the state — before this issue became politicized — urged state officials to look seriously at chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as effective treatment options.”

KSL Newsradio previously reported that hydroxychloroquine had been a hot topic ever since President Trump mentioned it as an option to possibly treat the effects of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Since the president’s endorsement, states all over the country purchased more than 30 million doses of it.

 

Gov. Herbert used the purchase of hydroxychloroquine as an example of how the Division of State Purchasing and General Services (State Purchasing) functions in a crisis situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the state response to the pandemic.

He noted that the global fracturing of supply chains lead State Purchasing to “implement emergency procurement protocols.” With such protocols in place, “the normal bid process is not required for purchases needed to address the pandemic.”

Nevertheless, he said State Purchasing was still required to exercise caution and justify their actions. The governor said their review found State Purchasing adapted rapidly and “exercised judgement in balancing expediency, cost and quality.”

 
Coronavirus resources


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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State of Utah receives refund of the $800 thousand purchase of hydroxychloroquine