“I agree with the statement from Dr. Steven Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the decision about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between a doctor and a patient,” DeWine said in a statement. “Therefore, I am asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to halt their new rule prohibiting the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. The Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board of Ohio should revisit the issue, listen to the best medical science, and open the process up for comment and testimony from experts.”
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy rule was to go into effect July 30, banning the dispensing of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
The rule was to prohibit pharmacies from selling or dispensing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for use as a coronavirus treatment without approval from the board’s executive director. It also specified that all prior approvals for the drugs are no longer applicable.
The rule does not apply to board-approved clinical trials. Participants must have documentation that they are part of such a trial. It does not apply to prescriptions to treat other conditions.
The Associated Press reports that scientific studies have shown hydroxychloroquine can do more harm than good when used to treat symptoms of COVID-19.
Many high-quality studies have found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine, when used with or without the antibiotic azithromycin, helps treat coronavirus infection or prevent serious disease from it. They include studies commissioned by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and universities in the U.S. and around the world.
Because of the lack of benefit and the risks of serious side effects such as heart rhythm problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently revoked its brief authorization of emergency use of the drug for COVID-19. NIH treatment guidelines also specifically recommend against hydroxychloroquine’s use, except in formal studies.
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