Michigan Governor Issues Threat Over Promising COVID-19 Treatment

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs sent a threatening letter to the state’s Doctors and Pharmacists on March 24th. It told them in no uncertain terms not to prescribe or fill any prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. And the medical community is advised to report any ‘unauthorized’ prescribing of it.

michigan governor
photo via Gretchen Whitmer for Governor website

Michigan Governor threat

The Michigan Governor directive reads:

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has received multiple allegations of Michigan physicians inappropriately prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to themselves, family, friends, and/or coworkers without a legitimate medical purpose.

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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. Reports of this conduct will be evaluated and may be further investigated for administrative action. Prescribing any kind of prescription must also be associated with medical documentation showing proof of the medical necessity and medical condition for which the patient is being treated.

Again, these are drugs that have not been proven scientifically or medically to treat COVID-19.
Michigan pharmacists may see an increased volume of prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and should take special care to evaluate the prescriptions’ legitimacy. Pursuant to Michigan Administrative Code, R 338.490(2), a pharmacist shall not fill a prescription if the
pharmacist believes the prescription will be used for other than legitimate medical purposes or if the prescription could cause harm to a patient.

It is also important to be mindful that licensed health professionals are required to report inappropriate prescribing practices. LARA appreciates all licensed health professionals for their service and cooperation in assuring compliance in acting responsibly while continuing to provide the best possible care for Michigan’s citizens during this unprecedented and very challenging time.

Quite the scare tactic she’s got there. Here is the issue: Prescribing hydroxychloroquine “off label” is not illegal and prescribing drugs off-label is quite common. The FDA has approved the “off-label” use of the drug for COVID-19, according to Fox. Yet this edict effectively removes any hope of obtaining the potentially helpful drug in Michigan.

As we previously reported, New York began trials of the drug on COVID-19 patients the same day this edict was released.

Kathy Hoekstra at The Detroit News noted,

“Even greater hope lies in a promising new treatment using a combination of old drugs: Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and a Z-Pak (azithromycin).

These well-known drugs have very favorable safety profiles. Several small studies have shown significant reduction in viral loads and symptom improvement when combining these medications in COVID-19 patients. Though these studies are small and do not prove efficacy, the results were so promising that the authors of the most famous study concluded:

“We therefore recommend that COVID-19 patients be treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to cure their infection and to limit the transmission of the virus to other people in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the world.”

Based on these and other results physicians and governments around the world are now using these medications to claimed great effect. Even in the state of Michigan, prominent hospitals such as the Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan have added hydroxychloroquine to their treatment protocols for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

By doing so, physicians are using these medications “off-label,” that is, without the costly and time-consuming process of Food and Drug Administration approval. The federal agency’s approval process performs the good task of helping to ensure medications safely do what they claim to do. However, lack of FDA approval does not mean lack of efficacy. It means lack of governmental confirmation of efficacy.”

Whitmer appears to be doing this expressly to hurt the President, ignoring the results of the smaller studies. She doesn’t care if people die of the disease because there is a treatment that has shown promise. And telling doctors and pharmacists to rat on each other …that sounds like something Heinrich Mueller would have supported.

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children


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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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