State Sen. Scott Jensen, a medical doctor, reports that pharmacists won’t fill hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for patients battling coronavirus.
Gov. Tim Walz has rescinded his March Executive Order 20-23, which effectively barred pharmacists from filling hydroxychloroquine prescriptions written to treat COVID-19. Despite this, Jensen says that pharmacists he’s contacted still won’t fill hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for patients suffering from the virus.
“I got on the phone and called pharmacists and said ‘if I write this hydroxychloroquine [prescription] will you fill it?’ And I was told no,” Jensen explained in a video he posted to Twitter on Friday.
“I said, ‘you’ve been filling my scripts for decades and decades and now you say no, why?'” the senator continued, further describing his conversation with pharmacists.
“It was clear that they [the pharmacists] were fearful, but what they said was ‘well it might set a precedent, the board might not like it, maybe we’ll run out,'” he said.
Alpha News was not able to independently verify Jensen’s claim that pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions written for hydroxychloroquine. However, he does not seem to be alone — doctors in other areas have also been denied the ability to use the drug.
A hospital in Michigan was told that it could not use hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients in its care, according to local media.
Although hydroxychloroquine has not been officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19, Jensen and many others stand behind its “off label” use to treat the virus.
When doctors prescribe a drug to treat a condition that it was not specifically approved by the FDA to remedy, that prescription is considered off label. Up to one in five prescriptions are written for off-label purposes, according to the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics.
There have been conflicting reports regarding the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. One study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases claims that the drug leads to a higher survival rate. Another study conducted by Oxford reached the opposite conclusion, per the BBC.