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Ohio Board of Pharmacy to prohibit use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19

The use of the drugs to treat the coronavirus has been controversial.
This Monday, April 6, 2020, photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Board of Pharmacy said that as of Thursday, it is prohibiting the selling and prescribing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19.

That is according to a new rule passed earlier this month.

The rule states that the drugs are not to be used for COVID-19 treatment unless approved by the board's executive director 

Any previous approvals of the use of the drugs will be voided.

The use of the drugs to treat the coronavirus has been controversial. 

They have been prescribed to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the Food and Drug Administration said.

In May, President Donald Trump defended his use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, saying it was his decision to make.

The FDA revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs to treat COVID-19 in June and in July posted a review of safety issues related to that use.

The FDA said there are reports of serious heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy said the drugs can be prescribed for other conditions if the prescriber includes a diagnosis code on the prescription.

If the rule is violated, the board said the punishment could include a written warning or reprimand, a fine, probation, license suspension, or permanent revolution of the license.