Yesterday Real Clear Politics reported the following:
This past week Minnesota became the second state to reject regulations that effectively ban the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine for use by COVID-19 patients.
The decision, which comes two weeks after the Ohio Board of Pharmacy reversed an effective ban of its own, was rightfully praised by local health care advocates. “We are pleased that Governor [Tim] Walz lifted his March 27 Executive Order 20-23 restrictions on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine,” said Twila Brase, president of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom.
The article notes that studies have shown the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine:
Though his critics are likely loath to admit it, there’s reason to believe the president may have been on to something. In recent weeks a chorus of voices in the medical community has emerged to challenge the view that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective as a COVID treatment. Dr. Harvey A. Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said a full analysis of the literature suggests hydroxychloroquine may be the key to defeating the coronavirus.
“Physicians who have been using these medications in the face of widespread skepticism have been truly heroic,” Risch wrote in Newsweek, adding that a full review of the COVID literature on the drug shows “clear-cut and significant benefits.”
Prescribing hydroxychloroquine in the early stages of the virus is key, Risch said, and others agree. Steven Hatfill, a veteran virologist and adjunct assistant professor at the George Washington University Medical Center, says the literature supporting hydroxychloroquine is overwhelming.
“There are now 53 studies that show positive results of hydroxychloroquine in COVID infections,” Hatfill wrote in RealClearPolitics. “There are 14 global studies that show neutral or negative results — and 10 of them were of patients in very late stages of COVID-19, where no antiviral drug can be expected to have much effect.”
The article notes that this decision was not widely reported:
It’s unclear if it was this research that prompted Walz to reverse his March ruling, which ordered the Board of Pharmacists to instruct pharmacists to not issue hydroxychloroquine prescriptions unless the diagnosis was “appropriate” — which halted any off-label prescription requests.
The reason it’s unclear is that Walz has been mum on why he rescinded his order. There’s been no announcement or new stories. Local lawmakers told me they had no idea Walz had reversed course.
For whatever reason, the drug has become political. Part of that may be due to the fact that it has been around so long that there is no great profit in using it, but I suspect part of it is due to the fact that President Trump mentioned it months ago.