A Utah doctor has taken to Twitter to claim that state bureaucrats are blocking him from prescribing the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which apparently is effective in treating those afflicted with the coronavirus.
Identifying himself by the handle DRBill, he explained that “I am a licensed physician in Utah. I tried to prescribe hydroxychloroquine but the pharmacist said the state had taken over the distribution of the drug. Even though I’m licensed, I cannot prescribe it. This is WRONG!”
He followed up by asserting that “I would like to believe that those officials who are preventing the use of hydroxychloroquine azirhromycin are airing on the side of caution and not being jerks! But man, we’re in the middle of an epidemic! We need to be a little liberal with the rules.”
I am a licensed physician in Utah. I tried to prescribe hydroxychloroquine but the pharmacist said the state had taken over the distribution of the drug. Even though I’m licensed, I cannot prescribe it. This is WRONG!
— DrBill (@DrBill_MD_) April 5, 2020
I would like to believe that those officials who are preventing the use of hydroxychloroquine azirhromycin are airing on the side of caution and not being jerks! But man, we’re in the middle of an epidemic! We need to be a little liberal with the rules
— DrBill (@DrBill_MD_) April 5, 2020
In a tweet apparently in response to DrBill, the Utah Department of Health denied that it is involved in the distribution or non-distribution of hydroxychloroquine.
The agency’s COVID-19 treatment suggestions includes hydroxychloroquine dosing regimens.
The State of Utah has NOT taken over distribution of these drugs. Although demand may have lead to shortages. UDOH treatment recommendations for patients with COVID-19 can be found here: https://t.co/uu0mwYg1dx
— Utah Dept. of Health (@UtahDepOfHealth) April 5, 2020
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients on an experimental basis, and clinical trials are underway in New York.
There have also been some reports from around the country and around the world of good outcomes with hydroxychloroquine and companion drug Azithromycin.
Hydroxychloroquine is sometimes sold under the brand name Plaquenil.
Macomb man with COVID-19 says Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin saved him | FOX 2 Detroit https://t.co/WazW2wtgCj
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 5, 2020
“Every patient I've prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free," Dr. Anthony Cardillo told Eyewitness News in Los Angeles. "So clinically I am seeing a resolution." https://t.co/eTaxQmQfGk
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) April 6, 2020
Although the doom-and-gloom, anti-Trump media has been hostile to President Trump’s advocacy of giving the drug a try during the pandemic, the president of multinational pharmaceutical giant Novartis has said that “Pre-clinical studies in animals, as well as the first data from clinical studies, show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” according to Reuters.
President Trump has referred to the drug as a potential game-changer in the pandemic and suggested that he might take it himself. The president has twice been tested for coronavirus, and both tests have come out negative.
Novartis intends to donate 130 million doses in the fight against COVID-19.
The drug will also be distributed through the federal government’s National Strategic Stockpile to be prescribed by doctors to coronavirus suffers. Several Big Pharma companies have already donated millions of doses for this purpose.
One of President Trump’s key advisers, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, has consistently downplayed the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine, however.
Yet the ubiquitous TV star was far more positive on hydroxychloroquine as part of a drug cocktail in antiviral experiments on a SARS-like coronavirus.
Folks question why Fauci cheered using drug for MERS coronavirus in 2013… but now he’s skeptical https://t.co/3VHmtsZZJB
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 5, 2020
Media reports have speculated that disagreements have emerged among members of the White House coronavirus task force about the potential benefits of administering hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 patients.
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