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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.

Cases: 295357

Reported Deaths: 5305
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion40796844
Lake25864448
Allen17025289
Elkhart16389209
St. Joseph16125217
Hamilton12225163
Vanderburgh9218112
Tippecanoe807627
Porter770176
Johnson5971161
Hendricks5719154
Vigo563274
Monroe519846
Clark486774
Delaware4721103
Madison4651119
Kosciusko437339
LaPorte436792
Howard321375
Warrick309072
Floyd301177
Bartholomew296262
Wayne292261
Cass291231
Marshall283642
Grant254147
Noble244246
Hancock238949
Henry234136
Boone231754
Dubois229230
Dearborn204629
Jackson200033
Morgan196043
Gibson171622
Knox170715
Clinton170420
Shelby170453
Lawrence169246
DeKalb168428
Adams160019
Miami150414
Daviess149143
Wabash148118
Fayette141233
Steuben139713
LaGrange135127
Jasper134911
Harrison134624
Montgomery127926
Whitley127410
Ripley121414
Decatur119842
Posey116613
Putnam115626
Wells115427
Huntington115210
White115221
Randolph114619
Clay111821
Jefferson110314
Scott97918
Greene97553
Jay93012
Starke87021
Sullivan85515
Perry80521
Spencer7957
Jennings79114
Fulton78717
Fountain7257
Washington6966
Carroll65313
Orange64828
Franklin63525
Owen5676
Vermillion5662
Newton53412
Parke5296
Tipton52826
Blackford50011
Rush5006
Pike49618
Pulaski36410
Martin3425
Brown3153
Benton3101
Crawford2711
Union2551
Switzerland2453
Warren2272
Ohio2227
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 351419

Reported Deaths: 5996
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin48389665
Cuyahoga34096734
Hamilton28674371
Montgomery19082225
Butler14138144
Lucas13446406
Summit12431309
Stark8122197
Warren770375
Mahoning6772299
Lake625466
Lorain590297
Clermont541946
Delaware521435
Licking506275
Fairfield505163
Trumbull4969144
Greene489662
Clark486664
Marion451451
Allen446384
Wood4243107
Medina413354
Miami398565
Pickaway387948
Columbiana328496
Portage323171
Wayne303593
Tuscarawas299557
Richland293929
Mercer281237
Ross234559
Hancock225336
Muskingum223610
Auglaize218925
Putnam218649
Darke208058
Erie205565
Ashtabula204753
Geauga189451
Scioto186713
Lawrence181336
Athens17954
Union17928
Shelby176715
Seneca165018
Belmont151529
Madison151018
Sandusky144427
Preble143821
Huron139218
Holmes137039
Defiance131121
Knox118818
Logan118313
Fulton117225
Ottawa114730
Crawford114216
Washington112427
Clinton100314
Williams9938
Jefferson9894
Ashland98322
Highland96317
Henry94422
Brown9324
Champaign8935
Jackson87312
Fayette86617
Van Wert8596
Morrow8312
Hardin82518
Guernsey79213
Coshocton78813
Perry73312
Pike7081
Adams70611
Wyandot68916
Gallia68113
Paulding61710
Hocking58511
Noble56121
Carroll41610
Meigs36312
Monroe29921
Morgan2342
Vinton2075
Harrison1823
Unassigned00
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