Following the approval of arthritis drug, hydroxychloroquine for the treatment and prophylaxis of the novel (new) coronavirus, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesay has called for ban on the sale of the drug without valid prescription from a registered medical practitioner. “Chemist shops should refrain from selling the drug without doctor’s prescription,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan. “The arthritis drug that has been found to be effective against the novel coronavirus falls under the schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, which means it can be sold only under prescription,” he said. “However, regulations for pharmacies are lax and violations are rampant. The drug is sold widely over the counter without prescription,” he added. Dr Nisar said after the reports that hydroxychloroquine cures the new virus, people are rushing to pharmacies and hoarding the drug. “I urge people not to go and find the drug, because they will be taking it out of the hands of those who need it most,” he said. “It has also been seen that some doctors are writing so many prescriptions of the drug for themselves and their families and stockpiling these medications. We need to take steps to stop these inappropriate prescriptions,” he added.