Hydroxychloroquine sales restricted in Ohio pharmacies as coronavirus treatment

A new rule from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy bars pharmacies in the state from selling or dispensing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19 unless approved by the board’s executive director.

A new rule from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy bars pharmacies in the state from selling or dispensing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19 unless approved by the board’s executive director. The rule, which takes effect on July 30, also voids all previous approvals of the drug. The new rule does not apply to prescriptions issued as part of a board-approved clinical trial to assess drugs that treat COVID-19. Prescriptions must include documentation that the patient is enrolled in a clinical trial. Pharmacists or licensed distributors who violate the new rule could receive a written warning or reprimand, fine, probation, license suspension, or permanent revocation of their license. Hydroxychloroquine is typically used for treating malaria, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. Infectious disease expert Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, points out that several studies indicate the drug has no demonstrated benefit in treating or preventing COVID-19. FDA recently ended its emergency use authorization on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus patients, citing such risks as serious heart problems.