Washington (CNN)Josie Pearce is preparing to finish her studies at Dartmouth College this spring, but the challenges of remote learning and virtual graduation are the least of her worries.Pearce has lupus and takes hydroxychloroquine every day. Recently, her local pharmacy in Vermont ran out of the drugs and stopped filling her long-term prescription. So, she found an authorized online seller and bought a shipment of the medicine, paying $178 out-of-pocket.”My hydroxychloroquine was sent from the United Kingdom and it took about three weeks to get here,” Pearce said. “In the meantime, I’ve had to go down on my dosage, just to make it last.”Pearce is one of 1.5 million Americans with lupus, an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own healthy cells. Hydroxychloroquine, and the similar drug chloroquine, are among the most effective approved prescription treatments for lupus and other autoimmune diseases.But these drugs became scarce last month after President Donald Trump began touting them as “game-changer” breakthroughs for Covid-19. There is even a fledgling black market, with pills being advertised on the dark web for as much as $43 each. (The ordinary rate is around $1.)Trump has since shifted his rhetoric toward reopening the country, but vulnerable Americans


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