Starting on Thursday, Ohio pharmacies, clinics and other medical facilities will be prohibited from dispensing or selling the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, to treat the novel coronavirus.

State regulations were updated on Wednesday to reflect the change but also included several caveats, such as if the prescription is for a pet or if it is part of a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of the drug when used to fight COVID-19.

“No prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed by a pharmacist or sold at retail by a licensed terminal distributor of dangerous drugs, including prescriptions for patients residing in Ohio dispensed or sold at retail by nonresident terminal distributors of dangerous drugs as defined in rule 4729:5-8-01 of the Administrative Code, unless the prescription bears a written diagnosis code from the prescriber or a statement indicating its veterinary medical purpose,” the state website read.

“Prescriptions issued for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for prophylactic use related to COVID-19 or for the treatment of COVID19 are strictly prohibited unless otherwise approved by the board’s executive director in consultation with the board president, at which time a resolution shall issue,” the statement continued. “Upon the effective date of this rule, all previous approvals for the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine shall be deemed void and must be approved using the process outlined in this paragraph.”

The Pharmacy Board went on to say the prohibition does not apply to prescriptions “issued as part of a documented institutional review board-approved clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the drugs to treat COVID-19. Prescriptions must include documentation that the patient is enrolled in a clinical trial.”

“Basically, it’s a patient safety issue,” Cameron McNamee, the board’s director of policy and communications told The Columbus Dispatch. “We’re looking at the best science to determine what’s best for the patients of Ohio.” She also said the decision has nothing to do with President Trump’s public support for the treatment.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly revoked emergency authorization for the drug which had been prescribed to treat the coronavirus. However, Trump and others in the medical community have hailed it as a possible cure for COVID-19.

This news comes just one day after Twitter experienced public backlash for removing a video that showed what appeared to be a group of medical doctors outside the Supreme Court, giving testimonials about how their patient regiments of hydorxycholorquine, zinc and Zithromax had yielded positive results.

A Twitter representative told CNN that the action was taken “in line with” the tech company’s coronavirus misinformation policy.

One of the doctors, who was identified in reports as Dr. Stella Immanuel, claimed she treated more than 350 coronavirus patients — some with diabetes and high blood pressure — and not a single one died after being administered hydroxychloroquine, zinc and zithromax.

The video, which caught fire on social media, was shared by Trump and his son Don Jr. before it was taken down. Trump Jr. was temporarily suspended from Twitter for sharing the video and appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to respond to the tech giant’s decision.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” he told Carlson. “I wrote my first book about justice and censorship coming from the big tech giants from California — as homogenous a group as you could possibly imagine. If they are censoring my account, they are censoring others and they’ve been trying to do this for a while.”

“I’ve been talking about the de-platforming, that demonetization of people that are preaching conservative values,” he said. “Because you have to note, this never happens to someone saying something that benefits the left. It only hurts conservatives.”

This news also comes on the same day federal lawmakers grilled big tech CEOs about their policy on political bias and highlighted instances in which conservative voices were silenced for allegedly partisan reasons.

“I’ll cut right to the chase,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio., during the hearing. “Big tech is out to get conservatives….That’s a fact.”

He added, “If I had a nickel for every time I heard it was just a glitch, I wouldn’t be as rich as our witnesses, but I’d be alright.”


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