Nevada governor bans malaria drugs for coronavirus patients

Nevada’s governor on Tuesday banned the use of anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s executive order came after President Trump touted the medication as holding promise for combating the illness.

Sisolak said there was no consensus among experts or Nevada doctors that the drugs can treat people with COVID-19.

His order also limits a prescription of the medicines — which are also used to treat illnesses like lupus and arthritis — to a 30-day supply to ensure it’s available for “legitimate medical purposes” and so people don’t stockpile the drug.

Trump helped create a recent flurry of demand for the drugs when he announced last week that chloroquine “could be a game-changer” and that the FDA had approved it as treatment for coronavirus sufferers, which it has not. Trump also said hydroxychloroquine could be used in prevention.

But the country’s leading infectious-disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, said there is no substantive proof, at least yet, that either drug works in the battle against the deadly pandemic, only anecdotal information.

Sisolak’s order came a day after a Phoenix-area man died and his wife was in critical condition after taking an additive used to clean fish tanks called chloroquine phosphate, similar to the drug used to treat malaria.

As of Tuesday, New York hospitals have federal permission to give patients a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to desperately ill patients on a “compassionate care” basis.

With Post Wires

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