/Despite FDA warnings, Mississippi lawmaker pushes hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment

Despite FDA warnings, Mississippi lawmaker pushes hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment

Dana Criswell, a state representative, is urging Gov. Tate Reeves should sign an order authorizing the use of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat COVID-19. There is no law that prohibits the drug being used in Mississippi. Susan McCoy (executive director of the state Board of Pharmacists), stated that most independent pharmacists are filling hydroxychloroquine orders now. “I haven’t received any calls reporting that they aren’t. Some chains are. It is a corporate decision.” A spokesperson from the Mississippi Medical Licensure Board stated that it does not prohibit Mississippi doctors writing prescriptions for Hydroxychloroquine, as long as they can justify the request. This is just as with any other drug. It is unclear if Reeves would be able to make such an order, even if it was necessary to do so. However, the law does not currently prohibit the drug being prescribed. McCoy stated that the Board of Pharmacy’s web site has only stated that “pharmacists should exercise caution dispensing drugs in a communal setting.” However, she said that the same rule should be applied to all drugs. She said, “We have it all on one page.” “I don’t know if (Criswell), did not read it.” Trump endorsed the drug to treat coronavirus. Trump even stated that he used it at one time as a preventive. The effectiveness of the drug is now a political issue, at least partly due to Trump’s endorsement. Criswell, an Olive Branch Republican, stated that “this treatment must be made accessible to the peoples of our state.” Conservative Republicans insist that the government shouldn’t get in the way of doctors and patients. We believe that government officials and bureaucrats need to get out of the way and give patients the “right” to try experimental treatments. The FDA has now revoked an emergency order it issued approving the drug for COVID-19 treatment. The FDA has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 patients due to numerous safety concerns, including blood and lymph system disorders and kidney injuries and liver problems and failure. However, McCoy stated that the FDA’s change does not mean that doctors cannot prescribe the drug “off-label” for COVID-19. She explained that there are laws in some states that prevent pharmacists from prescribing drugs “off label”. Mississippi doesn’t have such laws, so it can be prescribed for any disease that is not approved by the FDA. According to McCoy, some chain drug shops prohibit pharmacists from filling out label prescriptions. McCoy stated that the jury is still out about this drug’s potential use as a coronavirus treatment. People don’t realize that things are constantly changing. “Pharmacists have to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.” She stated that pharmacists must ensure prescriptions are written for an individual patient and not for long periods of time in which it appears the prescription was written for stockpiling the drug. The pharmacist must give strong evidence that the patient receiving the prescription is being closely monitored and controlled by a physician. Some studies have shown that the drug may cause cardiac problems in some patients. Criswell wrote that he would follow the example of the president and stand up to the pressure from media and liberal politicians, who want to see people die in order to win political power. We ask you to stand up for the people of Mississippi.” Criswell wrote: “Please follow the lead of our president and bravely withstand the pressure of media and liberal politicians who prefer to see citizens die in order to gain political power.”