Bill would allow off-label drugs to treat COVID-19 | News, sports, jobs
Bill would allow off-label drugs to treat COVID-19 |  News, sports, jobs

Bill would allow off-label drugs to treat COVID-19 | News, sports, jobs


Submitted photo Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams / Cumberland / Franklin / York, speaks at a “Medical Freedom” meeting in November.

Late. Doug Mastriano, a candidate to become the Republican Party’s candidate for governor, has introduced legislation to make it easier for citizens to obtain combinations of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, as well as ivermectin.

Senate Bill 1089 was introduced in the Senate last week and referred to the Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Senator Michele Brooks, R-Crawford / Erie / Mercer / Warren. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives (HB 1741) by rep. Dawn Keefer, R-York / Cumberland.

Mastriano, R-Adams / Cumberland / Franklin / York, cites studies showing drug efficacy: a peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents showed that a combination of early treatment drugs (hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin) reduced hospitalizations by 84% and resulted in a fivefold increase in deaths, while another peer-reviewed study conducted by doctors in Brazil between July 2020 and December 2020 examined over 150,000 participants in the city of Itajai and found that those taking Ivermectin compared to them , which did not, had a 56% reduction in hospitalization and a 68% reduction in deaths.

“Despite a record of success, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a patient in Pennsylvania to obtain these early treatment drugs on prescription from a provider,” Mastriano wrote in his praise note. “I have heard from many voters who encounter pharmacies that refuse to dispense these drugs, even with a valid prescription from a doctor. A combination of policy, bureaucracy and profit margin motivates pressure on doctors and pharmacists to reject the use of documented off-label medications. “

While Mastriano cites studies that support the bill, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the drugs. A study published in February 2021 in The Lancet showed that neither hydroxychloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination shortened the clinical course of outpatients with COVID-19, and hydroxychloroquine alone had only a modest effect on SARS-CoV-2 viral excretion. There are several such studies available in dozens of medical journals.

In January, the Food and Drug Administration announced on its website that there are risks associated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, including abnormal heart rhythms such as QT interval prolongation and ventricular tachycardia. These risks may be increased when these drugs are combined with other drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including azithromycin. Hydroxychlroquine is approved for acute use in inpatients when clinical trials are not available.

“We warn the public that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, either alone or in combination with azithromycin when used with COVID-19, should be restricted to clinical trials or to the treatment of certain hospitalized patients under EUA.” informs the FDA record. “EUA was based on limited evidence that the drug may be beneficial, and for this reason we only approved their use in inpatients under close cardiac monitoring. If a healthcare professional is considering using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19, we recommend The FDA should check www.clinicaltrials.gov for an appropriate clinical trial and consider enrolling the patient. “

The FDA has not approved or has approved ivermectin for use in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use in the treatment of infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin diseases like rosacea. Currently available data do not show that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials evaluating ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans are ongoing.

“My legislation will allow physicians and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense drugs already approved by the FDA for off-label use in the treatment or prevention of COVID, without penalty from the licensing boards.” Mastriano wrote. “My bill would also clarify that a pharmacy must not refuse to fill a prescription for a drug for the early treatment of COVID-19 based solely on their opinion about the drug.”



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