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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

U.S. Attorneys David DeVillers and Justin Herdman, Ohio Attorney General and Pharmacy Board Director issue joint statement regarding state pharmacy rule

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The United States Attorneys for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director issued a joint statement today regarding the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy rule prohibiting pharmacists from dispensing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 unless a person has tested positive for the virus or is otherwise approved by the pharmacy board’s executive director.

 

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven Schierholt confirmed awareness of the allegations leading to the state pharmacy order and stated:

 

“These are extraordinary times for the world, our nation, and the great state of Ohio. While we are seeing the absolute best of our healthcare professionals as they help to address the COVID-19 crisis, we will remain vigilant to address any self-serving behavior by any member of the medical community. Be assured that we will do our due diligence in holding accountable anyone who may be prescribing outside a legitimate medical purpose. Where we find doctors or others who are abusing their professional licenses to help themselves or associates, we will move swiftly to identify and prosecute any wrongdoing that is a violation of federal or state law. We are committed to pursuing all remedies to address misconduct associated with the allegations leading to the Board of Pharmacy action, including seeking criminal penalties where appropriate.”

 

 

 

On March 22, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine authorized the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to file emergency rule 4729-5-30.2 of the Administrative Code, which reads:

 

(A) Unless otherwise approved by the board’s executive director, no prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed by a pharmacist or sold at retail by a licensed terminal distributor of dangerous drugs unless all the following apply:

 

(1) The prescription bears a written diagnosis code from the prescriber; and

 

(2) If written for a COVID-19 diagnosis, the diagnosis has been confirmed by a positive test result, which is documented on the prescription and both of the following apply:

 

(a) The prescription is limited to no more than a fourteen-day supply; and

 

(b) No refills may be permitted unless a new prescription is furnished.

 

Prescriptions for either presumptive positive patients or prophylactic use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine related to COVID-19 is strictly prohibited unless otherwise approved by the board’s executive director in consultation with the board president, at which time a resolution shall issue.

 

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Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated March 24, 2020