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A Texas doctor contends the state’s pharmacy board is requiring that she reveal private medical information about her patients in order to prescribe a drug to treat COVID-19.
Dr. Ivette Lozano spoke with Fox News host Laura Ingraham about the “alarming” requirement she faced when she tried to write prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine, the FDA-approved drug top treat malaria which is now being used in some cases to combat the coronavirus.
(Source: Fox News)
Ingraham noted on “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday that the left is politicizing the drug that has been in use for decades and has “been used for off label use for years and years” but has become “radioactive” because President Trump has touted its effectiveness against COVID-19.
“I wrote a prescription and had the pharmacist call me and let me know that he could not fill that without me disclosing the diagnosis of the patient,” Lozano explained. “And so we had a little scuffle on the phone and I told him I couldn’t do that because of HIPAA [privacy] laws and he was insistent that the laws have been changed and the pharmacy board has passed a mandate that that drug could not be discussed unless it was accompanied by a diagnosis.”
Ingraham shared that a friend told her a CVS pharmacist was “interrogating her over a prescription she wrote for Hydroxychloroquine” for one of her patients. The Fox News host then shared a statement issued to Fox News by CVS Pharmacy:
“We balance the off label use of certain prescription medications to treat Covid-19 pneumonia with the ongoing needs of patients who are prescribed these drugs… our pharmacies make dispensing decisions to help ensure there is an adequate supply of medication to meet patient needs while complying with all applicable regulations.”
“It’s been an extremely difficult situation for me in the last couple of days,” Lozano told Ingraham.
“Yesterday I wrote five prescriptions for Hydroxychloroquine and I sent them to a pharmacy that I use and have used for the last 20 years, and I actually got a phone call from the pharmacist letting me know that she was not going to refill another prescription for me for Hydroxychloroquine,” the Dallas-based doctor recounted.
“I told her she couldn’t do that, that these patients were sick and that if I wrote the prescription she needed to fill these and she told me that she was not going to fill another prescription for me. I said I need your name and I’m going to call the pharmacy board and she said ‘I have the right to deny to fill this prescription for you,'” she continued.
Lozano went on to say she asked the pharmacist if there were no pills left but was informed they had 100 in the location.
“I told her, let’s just order some more. You can overnight this medication,” she said. “The prescription costs $13. And I had so many very, very sick patients in the office.”
“Now, today was horrible because I treated 15 people that needed 15 prescriptions, could not go there, had to scour all over Dallas to try to get these prescriptions,” she added.
The new rule adopted in March by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy directs that prescriptions for chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, or azithromycin must be accompanied with a diagnosis, and cannot be for more than a 14-day supply – unless the patient was already taking the medication.
Lozano, who owns the urgent care center, Lozano Medical Clinic, said she has patients who are not even her own coming from different cities in Texas to be treated.
“I have severe patients in the office. I’ve had patients that have been diagnosed with pneumonia and been turned away from clinics. I’ve got patients that have been turned away from hospitals. I’ve got patients coming in with temperatures of 102.9, white blood cell counts of 17,000, all positive COVID tests,” she told Ingraham.
“Their physicians are refusing to give them medication for fear that they are going to be in trouble with the licensing board,” she said.
“And now, the issue that we have now is that I’ve got pharmacists who are refusing to fill this medication. So this is critical now. I have a huge problem on my hands,” she added.
Asked if the medication has been successful in treating her patients, Lozano said it has been “incredible.”
“Every patient that I’ve treated — serious, moderate — has had resolution of symptoms within 24 hours. Within five hours the fevers are gone, within two days. The lung restriction, which is the most important, resolves within about four to five hours, you see dramatic improvement,” she said.
“It’s incredible,” she added. “I’m surprised myself.”
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