Ohio pharmacy board backs down on banning drug for COVID-19

The decision followed public feedback and a request by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to ditch the rule.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 3:32 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio pharmacy board reversed course Thursday and tossed a rule that would have prohibited the use of a malaria drug for patients with COVID-19. The decision followed public feedback and a request by Gov. Mike DeWine to ditch the rule.

At issue was the prescribing of the drug hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness for the coronavirus has been widely questioned.


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine via AP

On Wednesday, the pharmacy board banned its use as a coronavirus treatment, noting that the Food and Drug Administration previously revoked the emergency use of the drug.

The FDA “made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery,” the state pharmacy board said.

But on Thursday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn said on NBC’s “Today” show that the drug’s use should be between doctor and patient. DeWine said he agreed with that assessment.

“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,” DeWine said.

The board said it decided to roll back the rule as “a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Governor DeWine.” It plans to reexamine the issue along with the state medical board.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again promoted the use of the drug when he retweeted a viral video of a group of doctors promoting the use of the drug.

Both Twitter and Facebook have removed the content in efforts to keep the sites free of harmful misinformation about the virus.

The number of daily coronavirus cases reported by the Ohio Health Department remain high, including 1,396 cases reported Wednesday.

Also this week, the Health Department said an all-time high of 1,122 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Ohio’s hospitals on Tuesday, including 348 in intensive care and 174 on a ventilator.

“Ohioans have worked hard to slow the spread of this disease,” said Lance Himes, the agency’s interim director. “However, these numbers are a stark reminder that this virus is very much still with us.”

Ohio is currently under a statewide mask order. Local efforts to clamp down further have had mixed results.

In Columbus, a judge on Tuesday quickly shot down a city order closing bars and restaurants at 10 p.m., setting a hearing in two weeks where evidence can be presented for and against such a shutdown.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Attorney Zach Klein say the order is needed because compliance with social distancing worsens late at night.

Franklin County, home to Columbus, has reported 16,311 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, the most of any county in Ohio.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68433

Reported Deaths: 2980
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14863719
Lake7101271
Elkhart459777
Allen3635158
St. Joseph315479
Hamilton2513104
Cass17519
Hendricks1750105
Vanderburgh172612
Johnson1652118
Porter119539
Tippecanoe110311
Clark108145
Madison84765
LaPorte83829
Kosciusko81912
Howard81065
Bartholomew74347
Marshall74222
Floyd69444
Monroe68630
Delaware63852
Noble63728
Boone63546
Dubois62612
Hancock62337
Jackson5524
LaGrange54210
Warrick51630
Shelby51126
Grant49629
Vigo47410
Dearborn46528
Morgan42532
Henry36118
Clinton3573
White34710
Montgomery34321
Lawrence32827
Wayne3179
Decatur31432
Harrison29422
Miami2582
Scott25010
Daviess24619
Greene23934
Franklin22410
DeKalb2224
Putnam2228
Jennings21012
Jasper2082
Gibson2004
Steuben2003
Ripley1887
Perry17212
Starke1657
Orange16424
Wabash1613
Posey1580
Fayette1557
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1462
Carroll1452
Wells1342
Knox1310
Huntington1183
Washington1161
Spencer1143
Newton11010
Tipton1075
Randolph1034
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan761
Pulaski721
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio514
Pike460
Parke451
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93963

Reported Deaths: 3539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17254514
Cuyahoga12753477
Hamilton9160248
Lucas4944318
Montgomery405778
Summit3294217
Marion288444
Butler271459
Mahoning2411253
Pickaway235742
Stark1690132
Lorain163476
Warren163435
Columbiana158260
Trumbull1433103
Fairfield125425
Delaware120618
Licking112543
Clark108613
Lake104336
Wood92458
Clermont85511
Medina83533
Miami76937
Tuscarawas74713
Portage71760
Allen65442
Greene62611
Belmont58926
Richland54012
Ashtabula53945
Mercer53513
Geauga53143
Erie52427
Wayne49958
Ross4014
Huron3764
Ottawa35925
Athens3451
Madison33310
Sandusky33217
Holmes3226
Darke32127
Hancock3202
Auglaize2225
Lawrence2200
Union2161
Jefferson2063
Washington19722
Putnam19217
Scioto1881
Coshocton1866
Muskingum1811
Knox1692
Crawford1685
Preble1662
Seneca1613
Shelby1604
Morrow1582
Hardin15012
Clinton1486
Fulton1401
Champaign1381
Ashland1333
Highland1321
Defiance1294
Williams1243
Logan1231
Wyandot1207
Brown1121
Guernsey1117
Hocking1119
Carroll1085
Henry1061
Perry1062
Fayette970
Monroe9118
Van Wert691
Jackson670
Pike660
Paulding610
Gallia581
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs250
Harrison201
Morgan200
Noble170
Unassigned00
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