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OSMA Supports Withdrawal of Rule Prohibiting Prescribing of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for Treatment of COVID-19

The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) supports the announcement by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy withdrawing proposed rule 4729:5-5-21 of the Administrative Code following feedback received by members of the medical and patient communities, as well as a request from Governor Mike DeWine. This rule would have prohibited the dispensing or selling of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for treatment of COVID-19 thus removing a physician’s ability to decide if the drug was an appropriate treatment for his or her patient.
Several weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its emergency use authorizations for both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine based on evidence from further studies and trials in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The recent revocation of FDA emergency use authorization means that the FDA now recommends against the use of hydroxychloroquine for new hospitalized patients to treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial. As FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn stated, the ultimate decision about prescribing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat a patient with COVID-19 should be between the individual patient and their physician.
OSMA, as the state’s oldest and largest physician-led association, is a long-time advocate for the physician’s ability to exercise their professional, clinical judgment (including consideration of potential risks on a case-by-case basis) in the assessment and management of the medical needs of their patients. In our continued advocacy for the medical profession and the patients served by our members, we stress that this is a critical facet of health care delivery and the physician-patient relationship.

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