Posting on Twitter, Hélio Beltrão, head of the ultraliberal conservative think tank Instituto Mises Brasil, stated he was organizing an “informal network” of distributing lupus and malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to doctors seeking to administer it for Covid-19 patients.
Tests in Brazil are ongoing regarding the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients, and President Jair Bolsonaro has touted the drug as a “possible cure” for the disease. Results, however, are not yet conclusive.
In what Mr. Beltrão called a “public service announcement,” he told doctors to get in touch with him if they are unable to get their hands on the medication, which could be construed as drug trafficking, after the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) put strict controls on the sale of the medication.
A criminal law expert consulted by The Brazilian Report said that the conservative think tank leader’s conduct could come under the crimes laid out in Article 33 of Brazil’s Anti-Drugs Act, consisting of offering or selling drugs without authorization or in breach of regulatory or legal norms.