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Gov. Mike DeWine calls for Ohio Pharmacy Board to halt ban on hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus treatment

Governor Mike DeWine has asked the Ohio Pharmacy Board to halt its ban on hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment.

On the same day that a new rule prohibiting the selling and prescribing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat the coronavirus (COVID-19) went into effect, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on the state's pharmacy board to reconsider.

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In a statement released by the governor's office, DeWine said that he believes the decision for treatment should be between a doctor and a patient and asked the Ohio Pharmacy Board to halt the new rule and later revisit it.

“I agree with the statement from Dr. Steven Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the decision about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between a doctor and a patient," DeWine said. "Therefore, I am asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to halt their new rule prohibiting the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. 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.”

Dating back to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus has been a polarizing topic. In May, President Donald Trump defended his use of hydroxychloroquine to preemptively prevent COVID-19. One month later, the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs to treat COVID-19, later citing reports of serious heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure in a review.

Earlier this week, President Trump retweeted a controversial video that showed a doctor advocating the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus. The video was later removed by social media sites for violating misinformation policies.