LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Southern California pharmacy technicain has been charged with stealing an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has touted for treating the coronavirus, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Christopher Agustin of Torrance is charged with stealing 700 tablets of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he worked. Prosecutors said the tablets were worth about $6,700.

Agustin could face nearly 4 1/2 years in jail if convicted of second-degree burglary during an emergency and concealing stolen property.

It wasn't clear whether Agustin had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria and people who have lupus. Azithromycin is an antibiotic.

Studies are underway to determine whether the drugs have any potential for fighting COVID-19.

Trump had called hydroxychloroquine a COVID-19 “game changer" despite the lack of scientific evidence.

On Tuesday, a panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health recommended against using the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat the coronavirus because of potential side effects.

Also Tuesday, it was reported that an analysis of hydroxychloroquine in U.S. veteran hospitals showed no benefit. Researchers said the study of 368 patients found there were more deaths among those given the drug versus standard care.

That study hasn't been peer-reviewed.