Sisolak restricts use of malaria drugs for coronavirus patients

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Steve Marcus

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference at the Sawyer State Building in Las Vegas,Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Sisolak ordered a monthlong closure of casinos and other non-essential businesses in order to stem the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Published Tue, Mar 24, 2020 (4 p.m.)

Updated Tue, Mar 24, 2020 (11:33 a.m.)

Nevada’s governor has signed an emergency order that says anti-malaria drugs can only be prescribed for coronavirus patients by doctors in a hospital setting.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order Tuesday regarding the drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine comes after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment for the virus.

Trump last week falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. After the FDA’s chief said the drug still needs to be tested for that use, Trump overstated the drug’s potential benefits in containing the virus.

Sisolak's order also limits a prescription to a 30-day supply to ensure it’s available for other medical purposes and so that people cannot find a way to stockpile the drug.

The governor’s rule comes a day after a Phoenix-area man died and his wife was in critical condition from taking an additive used to clean fish tanks known as chloroquine phosphate, similar to the drug used to treat malaria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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