Posted Apr 18, 2020
As a retired physician, I am so appreciative of those in the medical field who are still accepting enormous personal risk by caring for us during this pandemic. Those include not only physicians and nurses, but also the check-in clerks, maintenance people, and even housekeeping. They literally put their lives on the line every day. You’ve all heard it before, but not enough. Thank you.
When Gov. Whitmer’s administration attempted to restrict doctors from prescribing hydroxychloroquine and pharmacists from fulfilling their prescriptions, I was truly concerned. Physicians use medications for off-label treatments “all the time.” This means that although a drug is approved for certain conditions, it is used for a different disorder if it appears it might work. It is absolutely legal to use it in this way. Obviously, the prescriber incurs more liability, but it is a common practice for all clinicians. There are many drugs used that way. I myself developed a treatment for the common wart using candida antigen “off label” to often obtain phenomenal results. Although rigid studies have not been done, it has been accepted across the US as an appropriate off-label treatment.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Hydroxychloroquine has been used for over 50 years to treat malaria and conditions like lupus. It’s not approved for the current coronavirus but many feel it would be of therapeutic or prophylactic benefit. Concerns about its use include possible side effects. However, one doctor, who has over 2,000 patients at any one time taking it long term, said that after using it for 40 years, he hasn’t had even one patient with a complication significant enough to require hospital admission.
I’m not sure then why the governor attempted to limit physicians and pharmacists like she did. Physicians make life-changing therapeutic decisions every day and are required to take many ethics courses during their training. We are accustomed to looking at the literature and deciding what drugs are useful or not.