Coronavirus In Ohio: Pharmacy Board Limits Prescriptions For Possible COVID-19 Drugs

Mar 23, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is limiting prescriptions of two drugs used for malaria and rheumatoid arthritis, after interest in those drugs spiked when President Trump tweeted out suggesting they could be used to treat COVID-19.

DeWine noted the Ohio Pharmacy Board met in a Sunday phone session to discuss an increased demand for chloroquine and hydroxycholorquine.

Trump described the medications as a "tremendous breakthrough" and a potential wonder drug for COVID-19, but Food and Drug Administration officials say they're far from proven.

The board agreed unanimously that all prescriptions for those drugs will be limited to a 14 day supply and only with a doctor’s diagnosis.

DeWine said he’d sign an order to implement those rules.

“This drug will be allowed to be prescribed for its intended purposes, certainly will also be allowed to be prescribed for COVID-19 for someone who has tested positive for that," DeWine said.

DeWine said the order will make sure those drugs aren’t stockpiled or sold by recipients for profit, and that they’ll be available for people who use them to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and malaria.

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.