Friday, April 03, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Reverses Her Politically Motivated Hydroxychloroquine Ban

Last week, I told you about some political butter biscuit chasing in Michigan - what a difference a week makes...,

washingtontimes |  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the federal government for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, days after her administration came under criticism for a statewide crackdown on the drugs touted by President Trump for the novel coronavirus.

The request from the Michigan Health and Human Services Department was made after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency-use authorization Monday for the drugs, which have long been approved for treating malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Based on the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) for certain patients with COVID-19, we are pursuing a request for hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine from SNS,” said Lynn Sutphin, Michigan HHS spokesperson, in an email.

The request, first reported by the nonprofit Bridge Michigan, came after the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs warned doctors against prescribing the drugs, citing lack of evidence about their efficacy against COVID-19 and reports of stockpiling, adding that reports of such conduct “may be further investigated for administrative action.”

Pharmacists were also instructed not to fill prescriptions if they believed they could be used for reasons “other than legitimate medical purposes” or “cause harm to a patient,” adding that medical providers had an obligation to report “inappropriate prescribing practices.”

washingtontimes |  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has come under criticism for a statewide order cracking down on prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by President Trump to treat the novel coronavirus.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued an order Wednesday warning physicians against writing prescriptions “without a legitimate medical purpose” and instructing pharmacists to evaluate the “legitimacy” of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine prescriptions.

The department cited concerns about stockpiling amid “multiple allegations” of doctors writing prescriptions for family and friends, adding that reports of such conduct “may be further investigated for administrative action” and that other health professionals are required to report “inappropriate prescribing practices.”

Michigan isn’t the first state to restrict the use of the drug — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued an emergency order last week over concerns about “bad actors” creating a shortage — but the moves have fueled allegations on the right that Democrats and media outlets are seeking to play politics with the drug.

Kathy Hoekstra, who previously worked for Republican businessman Herman Cain, accused Ms. Whitmer of putting patients at risk with her administration’s “knee-jerk scare tactics.”