JACKSON, Mississippi – The Mississippi Board of Pharmacy issued a warning about hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine this week, urging pharmacists statewide to use caution in distributing the drugs to the community.
The Mississippi Board of Pharmacy statement, issued on July 24th, reiterates the facts uncovered by federal and global health agencies, indicating little to no use for the drugs in the treatment of coronavirus. It states, “there are no FDA-approved or clinically proven therapies for treatment of COVID-19” and discourages the use of either medication outside the heavily-monitored hospital setting. “There is a potential for toxicity with these medications”, the statement reads.
The Mississippi Board of Pharmacy is responsible for regulating and controlling pharmacy practices in the state, as well as the distribution of prescription drugs and medical devices to Mississippi communities. The board, which was established in 1920 through legislative action, is comprised of seven members appointed by Mississippi Governor, Tate Reeves. Its mission as stated on the official website is to “protect and promote the health of Mississippi citizens”.
The anti-malarial drugs have been a popular topic in the news since Donald Trump began suggesting their use as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. His claims were soundly discredited by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said in an BBC interview on Wednesday, “We know that every single good study – and by good study, I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of COVID-19.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially issued an emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, but that authorization was revoked last month after numerous reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” among other health issues and side effects. The agency now cautions against using or prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for anything other than the anti-malarial applications for which the drugs were intended.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also included the drugs early in the Solidarity Trial, but soon discontinued their use after studies showed “little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care”.