Virus Outbreak Malaria Drug

FILE - This Monday, April 6, 2020 file photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. According to a study released on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in an analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers report. (AP Photo/John Locher)

As a retired pharmacist with 58 years of practice in many pharmacy environments, I am concerned that, although we are being given many valuable statistics concerning coronavirus in our community, I am and more and more troubled with the treatment protocols for COVID-19. 

I think it is a fair question to ask our personal physicians and local emergency room staff what their treatment protocol currently is when patients call or come in with early symptoms or diagnosis of this disease. I personally do not want to wait until I am  sick enough to have to be admitted to the hospital and on a ventilator before any treatment is provided to me. 

I have been told that some who have to go to the ER with a fever and other early symptoms were given a couple of Tylenol and sent home to quarantine and rest until the symptoms are gone, or told if the situation worsens, to return to the hospital for possible admission. The, if the symptoms are severe enough, that patient will be placed in ICU, possibly placed on a ventilator, or transferred to a San Antonio hospital for ECOM treatment. 

As a pharmacist and as a senior citizen who remains conscious and vigilant concerning my personal health, I have done a fair amount of research about treatment for this new disease. It has come to my attention that there are two early or prophylaxis treatment methods utilizing steroid Budesonide, administered through a nebulizer, or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets in low doses, both of which have had a reasonable amount of success in literally hundreds of patients. 

These treatments have been prescribed for years for other purposes and have shown few if any side effects for COVID-19 treatment when administered in the proper dosage. And by the way, there are much less expensive, less than $100, than the currently and hard to obtain Remdesivir, a new drug that costs thousands of dollars per injection. 

I have seen several interviews on news programs with at least a dozen physicians from various locations and various fields of medicine discussing their successful experience using HCQ, adding that few if any of their patients are ever hospitalized when treated early. Unfortunately, these interviews have been removed by Google, Facebook and YouTube as fast as they’re posted. 

In my experience, I have always understood that physicians have always been allowed to prescribe an FDA approved drug for off-label uses, and pharmacists were never prohibited from filling these prescriptions. However, the State Board of Pharmacy made a ruling several months ago that prohibited a pharmacy from filling a prescription for HCQ unless it was for malaria, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, that ruling expired on July 21. This could have been the result of pressure from patients, doctors and citizens lobbying to allow this prescription for preventative treatment. 

However, as of July 29, I was informed that the FDA had withdrawn its permitted emergency use of HCQ for COVID-19, effectively making it illegal to prescribe the drug, even in the face of multiple doctors testifying of its efficacy. 

I am concerned that certain government agencies and politicians are intervening with the patient/physcian relationship in a manner that prevents the doctor from prescribing and the patient from receiving inexpensive and effective, possibly life saving, treatment for this particularly invasive and cruel disease. 

It appears more and more that there must be another agenda underlying this battle which, in my opinion, is tantamount to being criminal by limiting effective treatment to sick patients, and preventing doctors from prescribing drugs that have been shown to help, even threatening to revoke their license. 

Both physicians and pharmacists take an oath to “do no harm,” and if they are being prohibited by law from doing what they feel may be beneficial to their patient, and that patient dies, then the physicians are not to be blamed, but those who have denied the remedy, and those perpetrators should be prosecuted. 

We as citizens and possible future patients must be proactive in taking care of our own best interests and must ask our physicians what their policy is for treating and prescribing drugs for this dreadful disease. 

Bill Morgan owned his own pharmacy  for 23 years, worked at the Veterans Affairs Administration and has done relief pharmacy work for 58 years. He is a Kerrville resident. 

 

(9) comments

Richard Hough

This HCQ situation has become political because the President mentioned it. And with so much hatred for the President on the other side like I have never seen before, it makes it very difficult to know what to believe. Hatred for this man has been going on for 4 years and there are people that will do absolutely anything to discredit him. The last writer said that the FDA is controlled by the Republican party. I do not think so.

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: the appointments have been made made by trump. so in that sense it is controlled by republicans. as to discrediting trump, he discredits himself on a daily basis. for example, he has claimed over 150 times that he did veterans choice when it actually was signed into law in 2014 by Obama. and he skulked off the stage like a child when confronted.

as far as what to believe, you can google actual studies involving HCQ.

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: Then let me ask this question: If HCQ is so successful, then why arent the private medical insurance companies demanding that it be used? they are covering the costs for treatment, and since they are in business to make money, surely they would demand that this drug be used.

I also wonder why the Republican controlled FDA does not demand this drug be given. Are they also in on the conspiracy along with the insurance companies, WHO, all the Democrats, the media, and a sizable number of Republicans?

As far as the links to various studies, if you understand how research is done, then you will quickly see why the studies prove nothing.

Suzanne Wyss

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons filed a preliminary injunction to compel the FDA and the HHS to release the stockpile of HCQ it has to the public. Multiple countries, including doctors in the US have used it in the early stages of COVID-19 and saved lives. We as Americans have the right to make medical decisions with our doctors as to the taking of this drug.

"AAPS files with the court a chart showing how countries that encourage HCQ use, such as South Korea, India, Turkey, Russia, and Israel, have been far more successful in combatting COVID-19 than countries that have banned or discouraged early HCQ use, as the FDA has. Last week the FDA even misled the public by falsely stating that HCQ should not be used to treat COVID-19, when multiple studies show its benefits, and thousands of patients have been successfully treated worldwide."

Read for yourself. https://aapsonline.org/preliminary-injunction-sought-to-release-hydroxychloroquine-to-the-public/

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: did you google the information about the assoc of american physicians and surgeons. quite interesting material they have presented. this organization has approximately 5k members of the over 1 million licensed physicians in the US. so thats who you roll the dice on?

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: 3rd try. to get this post posted. the countries that you said have the virus under control largely dont. and the current death rate in most of them is higher than in the US. Part of the problem is the lag time. Perhaps these countries were doing better when this organization (which represents less than 0.05 % of licensed physicians). filed their injunction, but things did change. There is simply no evidence that HCQ is helpful.

Suzanne Wyss

There are a whole lot of us out here concerned and troubled by what is being said and done to prohibit the use of HCQ in treating COVID. It's not right.

Thank you Mr. Morgan for your critically important and timely article.

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: who do you think is responsible for this conspiracy and what goal do they hope to achieve?

Mary Lou SHELTON

GENE here: I dont want my personal physician winging it by using drugs that have not proven effective. I dont care about their anecdotal experiences, but I do care about the results of well done research. It is not at all uncommon for private insurance to not pay for unproven or experimental interventions. I dont see any whiff of conspiracy.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.