The Ohio Board of Pharmacy retracted their ban on prescribing Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. They reversed their decision just one day after submitting it. Additionally, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was instrumental this turn of events.
Doctors use Hydroxychloroquine to treat malaria and arthritis among patients. Recently, it has been controversial as an effective treatment for COVID-19. This is thanks to President Trump supporting the use of the drug in March. The drug was recommended by a group that calls themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” recently. This group feels that, when administered, early and in the correct dosages, Hydroxychloroquine could prevent or even cure COVID-19.
Ohio recently reported a new high in cases, with 1,122 people being hospitalized in just one day. The state has been addressing other rules in relation to the pandemic, including limiting the hours that bars can operate.
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Governor DeWine declared that he agrees with Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. They agree that patients and their doctors should make decisions on treatments, according to the Dayton Daily News.
“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,” DeWine said.
“The Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board of Ohio should revisit the issue, he added. He then mentioned that they should “listen to the best medical science, and open the process up for comment and testimony from experts.”
Retracting the Hydroxychloroquine Ban
The Board of Pharmacy posted on their website that: “a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Governor DeWine, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has withdrawn proposed rule 4729:5-5-21 of the Administrative Code. Therefore, prohibitions on the prescribing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for the treatment of COVID-19 will not take effect at this time.”
Cameron McNamee, director of board policy and communications, told the Columbus Dispatch that the initial ban on hydroxychloroquine involved “a patient safety issue.”
“The long and short of it is, we want people to focus on what works, such as social distancing and mask use,” McNamee said. “We ultimately want to make sure people are being safe and not exposing themselves to drugs that have shown not to be effective in treating COVID-19,” he also stated.
There may be pushback from the mainstream media and some members of the medical community. However, allowing patients and their doctors to make personalized recommendations for their treatment is at the core of a free society. Being open to exploring and trying all types of treatments should be of paramount importance during a global pandemic.