States try to stop hoarding of possible coronavirus treatments

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President Trump made false claims about possible treatments for the coronavirus, and expert Dr. Anthony Fauci had to tamp down optimism about the treatments at a press conference.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 6:30 PM

As people have started to stockpile drugs that might possibly treat coronavirus, several states have rushed to set strict prescribing limits in order to prevent shortages of the medicines for those who truly need them.

Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia have all taken measures to make sure doctors aren't unnecessarily prescribing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine -- just as the antibiotic Cipro was unnecessarily prescribed and hoarded after the anthrax attacks of 2001.

"Currently, both nationally and in West Virginia, some prescribers have begun writing prescriptions for these drugs for family, friends, and coworkers in anticipation of Covid-19 related illness," according to the West Virginia regulation, using the medical term for the disease caused by the coronavirus. "This is leading to a shortage of the drug both for patients prescribed the drug for issues unrelated to Covid-19 and potentially to individuals suffering from the effects of Covid-19."

One pharmacist tweeted that she's worried about shortages for patients who are legitimately using the drugs.

Katherine Rowland, a pharmacist in Oregon, wrote Sunday that a dentist tried to call in prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine "for himself, his wife & another couple (friends.). NOPE. I have patients with lupus that have been on HCQ for YEARS and now can't get it because it's on backorder."

The state regulations were put in place starting on Thursday, when President Trump first expressed optimism that the drugs would help treat the infection.

"I'm a big fan, and we'll see what happens," Trump said at a White House press briefing Friday. "I've seen things that are impressive."

One of his own medical advisers was much more restrained, emphasizing that studies still need to be done to see if these drugs can safely and effectively treat coronavirus.

"It might be effective, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Chloroquine and its derivative hydroxychloroquine are used to treat ailments including malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The new regulations typically allow people to continue filling prescriptions for these drugs as usual if they've already been taking them. New prescriptions must include a written diagnosis on the prescription and are limited typically to 14 days.

Earlier this month, one small study in France showed that hydroxychloroquine significantly reduced the amount of virus in infected patients' throats. The treatment was even more effective when patients also took the antibiotic azithromycin.

The study did not look at how these 20 patients fared -- for example, it didn't look at whether they were less likely to develop life-threatening complications or die from coronavirus.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
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Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
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Putnam1738
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Scott1649
Wayne1546
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Whitley1066
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Jefferson862
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Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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