Health Editor’s Note: I just received this from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs regarding Michigan Physicians prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to close acquaintances for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. While these two drugs have shown some success in treating severe pneumonia in COVID-19 in Chinese cases, they have not been approved for this purpose. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are currently being used for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other ailments. If these two drugs are being prescribed for a purpose for which they has not been approved, the stocks will be depleted and those patients who rely on these drugs for treatment of diseases these drugs are approved to treat will not be able to buy these drugs due to shortages brought on by a panic buyout. I repeat, these drugs have not been proven scientifically to treat COVID-19 although it looks promising that they can make a difference in the treatment of COVID-19….Carol
Dear Licensed Prescribers and Dispensers:
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.
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.
To stay up to date on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic please go to www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus and the CDC site at www.CDC.gov.
Deb Gagliardi, Director
Bureau of Professional Licensing
Forrest Pasanski, Director