Ohio pharmacy board reverses hydroxychloroquine ban

Ohio's board of pharmacy has reversed its ban on hydroxychloroquine for use in COVID-19 patients and said it will reexamine the issue — just a day after announcing its plan to ban the drug — following a request from Gov. Mike DeWine.

The board had announced July 29 a plan to ban medical institutions from prescribing hydroxychloroquine for use in COVID-19 patients as of July 30, saying it was a "patient safety issue." The drug would still have been allowed in clinical trials. 

The morning of July 30, Ohio's governor tweeted at the pharmacy board saying he agrees with a statement from FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, that the decision to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between "a doctor and a patient."

The governor asked the pharmacy board to halt the rule, revisit the issue and "listen to the best of medical science and open the process for comment and testimony from experts."

The pharmacy board later issued a statement saying: "As a result of feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Gov. DeWine, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has withdrawn [the proposed rule] of the administrative code."

The board said the prohibitions on hydroxychloroquine won't take effect, and it plans to reexamine the issue with assistance from the State Medical Board of Ohio, clinical experts and other stakeholders.

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