Nevada governor is allowing chloroquine for coronavirus inpatients, office says

Sisolak has 'based every decision he's made on the opinions of medical experts,' says governor's spokesman

Published: March 31, 2020 3:59pm

Updated: March 31, 2020 6:58pm

Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is allowing malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to be prescribed for the inpatient treatment of coronavirus patients, a spokesperson said Tuesday.

Last week, Sisolak endorsed restrictions on the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for outpatient prescriptions as the Trump administration touted its potential effectiveness in treating coronavirus. The governor's office had said the restrictions were to protect the supply of the drugs for individuals with lupus and other conditions.

Influential Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have criticized Sisolak for his state’s handling of the drugs, which on Monday received emergency Food and Drug Administration approval for treating coronavirus patients.

“The Governor of Nevada, practicing medicine w/o a license—trying to score political points against Trump—& prohibiting NV doctors from prescribing medicines to treat COVID19,” Cruz recently tweeted.

The governor’s spokesperson defended Sisolak’s actions in a statement provided to Just the News, saying the governor has “based every decision he's made on the opinions of medical experts.”

“His endorsement of the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy's decision to place common-sense limitations on outpatient prescription and dispensing of those drugs to prevent hoarding, as has been done in at least six others states (including Texas), is no different,” the governor's statement read.

“To further clarify, the Governor's order still allows those drugs to be prescribed and dispensed for inpatient treatment of a COVID-19 diagnosis,” he added.

The spokesperson included a copy of the full state regulation that’s in effect.

Before the federal agency's approval for emergencies, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a warning about prescribing the drugs.

“Prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without further proof of efficacy for treating COVID-19 or with the intent to stockpile the drug may create a shortage for patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other ailments for which chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are proven treatments,” read the department’s letter.

Democratic Michigan Gov. Whitmer has responded to criticism that her administration was previously attempting to block the use of the drugs for coronavirus.

“We want to ensure that doctors have the ability to prescribe these medicines,” Whitmer said Monday. “We also want to make sure that people who have prescriptions that predated COVID-19 have access to the medication that they need.”



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