A suburban Glenview woman, who relies on the drug hydroxychloroquine to help her live a normal life, is one of countless people at risk for not receiving refills, with the drug now considered a potential treatment for coronavirus patients.
Natalie Tilghman suffers from Sjogren's syndrome, an immune system disorder characterized by dry eyes and a dry mouth. Hydroxychloroquine is a gamechanger for Sjoren's patients like Tilghman as well as those who have malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
"I have three little kids, so I have the energy now to keep up with them and really live a normal life," she said. "It (the drug) has allowed me to get out of bed pain-free in the morning."
Tilghman has enough medication for the next month, but remains anxious about what's ahead.
"There are people that are much sicker than me that are disabled, that need this medication to prolong their lives," she added. "[I] just want to raise awareness of that collateral impact."
Although there is a national shortage of the drug, exactly supplies vary by location.
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization, allowing health care providers to use the medicine for illness, even though the drug has not been approved as a specific treatment for the coronavirus.