Did Nevada 'quietly reverse' its decision to 'block' hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for COVID-19? No, that's not true: The emergency regulation simply expired. Also, although the order did put some limits on hydroxychloroquine, it did not prohibit prescriptions of the drug outright. It remained available to COVID-19 patients in hospitals and emergency rooms in Nevada.
Nevada is now the 7th state to quietly reverse their decision to block HCQ prescriptions for COVID-19. Physicians in Nevada can now once again prescribe HCQ as they deem necessary.
This is what users saw on social media:
Back in March, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency order that limited the prescribing and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. The two drugs, which are approved to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases, were being touted by some -- most notably, by President Donald Trump -- as useful in the prevention and treatment COVID-19. Since then, most studies have shown that the drugs' risks outweigh their benefits. In fact, after granting emergency use authorization early in the pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked its authorization.
The stated goal of the regulation in Nevada was to prevent hoarding. Here's what Sisolak said at the time:
Today, I signed an emergency regulation limiting the prescription & issuance of two drugs that have unproven results with treating COVID-19. While these drugs serve necessary medical purposes, this regulation protects the Nevadans who need them and prevents unnecessary hoarding. pic.twitter.com/dGMDJfdNAW-- Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) March 24, 2020
He later stressed that the order exempted hospitals and emergency rooms, tweeting:
This regulation DOES NOT prohibit prescription of these drugs for inpatient treatment. In other words, if a doctor in a hospital or emergency room setting wants to prescribe these drugs to treat a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, he or she is still free to do so. https://t.co/DdG4HKR4Ht-- Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) March 25, 2020
According to the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, the regulation expired on July 21, 2020. Although it is no longer in effect, the order was not "quietly reversed," as the post alleges. Nor, even when it was in effect, did the regulation block hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for COVID-19 patients.
Lead Stories reached out to the governor's office as well as the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy for comment. We will update this story, as necessary, if they respond.
The Instagram post containing the claim is a copy of a tweet published by Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, a pro-hydroxychloroquine and anti-mask group that Lead Stories debunked when Gold falsely claimed they had a cure for COVID-19.
MedPageToday fact-checked the opening press conference of America's Frontline Doctors by pointing out that none of the 10 doctors speaking for the group are involved in medical specialties that would treat COVID-19 cases and some are no longer practicing medicine.