Pharmacy Board Limits Prescriptions for Experimental COVID Treatment Drugs

The Ohio’s Pharmacy Board has barred pharmacies from dispensing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 unless a person has tested positive for the virus or otherwise approved by the pharmacy board’s executive director. Ohio’s pharmacy board made their ruling in an emergency Sunday session.

The patient’s positive test must be disclosed by the doctor on the prescription request.

The state pharmacy board was made aware that the supply of these drugs were being exhausted because doctors were obtaining prescriptions of a possible coronavirus treatment for themselves, their families and friends.

In order to get either of those drugs the patient’s positive test must be disclosed by the doctor on the prescription request. The prescription must be limited to a 14-day supply and no refills are permitted without a new written prescription.

A nationwide rush on the drugs has occurred after President Trump announced last Thursday that studies showed chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are showing some promising results in the treatment of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, on an experimental basis. This is based on reports of small trials elsewhere, including France. Doctors at this point in most countries are providing support that includes IV liquids, breathing assistance and pain killers or fever reducers.

Ohio’s pharmacy board voted 7-0 Sunday morning to issue the order after a request from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office to address the rise in prescriptions. Dr. Amy Action of the Ohio Department of Health had expressed concerns during a press conference about the increase in prescriptions of those drugs.

The board members conducted the meeting by teleconference.

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