Ex-pharmacy tech busted for stealing hundreds of hydroxychloroquine pills

A California man was busted for stealing hundreds of tablets of the malaria drug being studied as a possible COVID-19 treatment from the pharmacy where he worked, prosecutors said.

Christopher Mencias Agustin, 35, entered Harbor-UCLA Medical Center last month and grabbed more than 700 tablets of hydroxychloroquine, along with the antibiotic azithromycin — an unproven cocktail being eyed as a way to combat the coronavirus, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Wednesday.

The stash was worth about $6,700 in total.

He was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree burglary during an emergency and one count of concealing or withholding stolen property, all felonies, prosecutors said.

If convicted as charged, Agustin could face up to four years and four months behind bars.

The drug pairing is under review to determine whether it can effectively fight COVID-19.

President Trump has boosted hydroxychloroquine as a “game-changer” in treating the deadly bug.

But on Tuesday, a nationwide study that analyzed the use of hydroxychloroquine in U.S. veteran hospitals showed that the drug proved to be no better than standard care — and even led to more deaths.

More than 300 male patients participated in that study.

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