Doctors sue feds to loosen grip on drug used to prevent COVID-19

By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A Tucson-based national organization of doctors has sued the federal Department of Health and Human Services for putting roadblocks in the path of physicians who want to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19.

The lawsuit, filed in Michigan, asks a federal judge to overturn an order by the Food and Drug Administration, part of HHS, which says the drug can be obtained from the Strategic National Stockpile only when a patient has the virus and is hospitalized. Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons, told Capitol Media Services the agency is illegally restricting the rights of doctors to choose what is best for the patients.

The action comes after Gov. Doug Ducey in April imposed his own restrictions on the use of hydroxychloroquine, forbidding Arizona doctors from prescribing the drug for prophylactic purposes absent a peer-reviewed medical study showing it is effective. To date, there has not been one.

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