Last week authorities in the great state of Michigan promulgated a “reminder” threatening doctors and pharmacists with consequences for prescribing or filling orders for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat the Wuhan virus. They demand “further proof for efficacy for treating COVID-19” and warn against “stockpiling” creating shortages of the drug for patients with lupus and other conditions for which the drugs are proven treatments. The “reminder” reminds me of the articles of the Soviet criminal code prohibiting “wrecking” and “hoarding.”
The old joke mocks the official who announces that he’s here from the government and he’s here to help us. He’s not being truthful. Governor Whitmer et al. are from the government and they’re here to remind us. They’re being “helpful” in their own way.
President Trump, of course, has expressed hope that these drugs might prove successful as a treatment for the virus. Now Politico’s Dan Diamond reports “FDA issues emergency authorization of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus care.” The emergency use authorization extends to both drugs. One can infer that Diamond himself is not on board with this development, but he doesn’t appear to know much about it.
The related HHS statement is posted here. It provides that HHS has accepted donations of both drugs by Sandoz and Bayer “for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials. These and other companies may donate additional doses, and companies have ramped up production to provide additional supplies of the medication to the commercial market.” Does Governor Whitmer know about this?
We have taken note of the drugs in several posts over the past few weeks. The Wall Street Journal has now published two columns by Dr. and former Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer touting the use of hydroxychloroquine together with azithromycin. Dr. Colyer’s first column was written with Dr. Daniel Hinthorn, director of the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Their March 22 column was published under the wildly inflammatory headline “These Drugs Are Helping Our Coronavirus Patients.” Subhead: “The evidence is preliminary on repurposing two treatments. But we don’t have the luxury of time.”
Dr. Colyer supplemented this column on Saturday in “An Update on the Coronavirus Treatment.” Subhead: “Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin continue to show results for patients.” Does Governor Whitmer know about this?
I have uploaded the Michigan “reminder” to Scribd and posted it below. It was removed by Scribd’s automated copyright gremlins on Saturday but appears to have been restored as of this moment. If it disappears, I will post the text in an update. Somebody ought to do something about this and its equivalents in other states throwing their weight around in the current panic.