Fauci accused of misinformation campaign,
COLUMBUS, Ohio (PNN) - July 30, 2020 - The Ohio Board of Pharmacy withdrew a rule preventing the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19 after Governor Mike DeWine called on the board to halt the rule.
"As a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Gov. DeWine, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has withdrawn proposed rule 4729:5-5-21 of the Administrative Code," reads a Thursday statement from the Board.
"Therefore, prohibitions on the prescribing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for the treatment of COVID-19 will not take effect at this time."
The Board will re-examine the rule with the help of the State Medical Board of Ohio, clinical experts, and stakeholders to determine the next step.
The rule, which was scheduled to go into effect today, would prohibit pharmacies from selling or dispensing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus treatment unless the use is approved by the Board’s executive director. The rule would also void all previous approvals of the drug.
On Thursday, DeWine said that he agreed with FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, who said that the decision to use HCQ should be between doctor and patient.
"Therefore, I am asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to halt their new rule prohibiting the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19," DeWine said earlier in the day.
With the science behind the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 far from settled, more than a few people have noted the aggressive campaign against the widely prescribed anti-malaria drug.
The anti-HCQ push has infected Silicon Valley as well - tech giants have been labeling pro-hydroxychloroquine content as “misinformation” - most recently banishing a press conference by a group of doctors touting the drug from just about every platform.
To that end, Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch has accused Dr. Anthony Fouci of waging a "misinformation campaign" against the drug.
On Tuesday during an interview on Good Morning America, Fauci further downplayed the drug's purported benefit, claiming that "the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in [treating] coronavirus disease."
Risch, however, is sharply criticizing Fauci's approach to evaluating the drug's effectiveness, arguing that repeated trials and tests have shown that it is markedly effective at treating COVID-19 as long as it is administered properly.
On Tuesday, Risch went further, charging that Fauci is perpetrating a "misinformation campaign" in his opposition to the drug.
Fauci "has been maintaining a studious position that only randomized controlled trial evidence has any value," Risch said, "and everything else he calls anecdotal."
In a Newsweek Op-Ed published last week, Risch called HCQ "the key to defeating COVID-19," and said it was particularly effective in conjunction with one of two antibiotics and zinc, saying it has "shown to be highly effective." Risch said the drug could save 100,000 lives if widely deployed.
Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that some medical observational studies "suggest a benefit" to the drug.
"So the FDA looks at all what we call 'the totality of data,'" Hahn said in a Tuesday morning radio interview with Florida radio host Drew Steele. "There are observational studies that suggest a benefit. There are five randomized trials that did not show a benefit to hydroxychloroquine, both in the prophylactic setting and in the treatment - both early and late."
More recently, Rep. Louie Gohmert (Tex.) announced that he would be taking "zinc, erythromycin and hydroxychloroquine" after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday.