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South Dakota To Be First State To Conduct Hydroxychloroquine Trials

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced Monday that her state will be the first to conduct clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, a drug hailed by many doctors and patients as a miracle solution in the fight against an invisible enemy, the coronavirus.

“From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota. Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts,” Noem said in Monday’s press release.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1241367245143642113

Her statement continued, “I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine last month after it showed promising results of recovery in early clinical trials. The anti-malaria pill, coupled with the antibiotic azithromycin, has since been used to treat many patients diagnosed with the coronavirus.

South Dakota will soon test the drug on a larger scale with the help of Sanford Health, Avera and Monument Health. The three providers will treat up to 100,000 coronavirus patients, healthcare workers and anyone else with high-risk of exposure to the virus, according to the press release.

The state currently has 868 confirmed cases of the virus and has seen six deaths.

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Healthcare

TN Republican introduces legislation to fight opioid shipments into U.S.

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Tennessee Republican Representative Diana Harshbarger is attempting to fight the opioid crisis and epidemic through new legislation. Introduced Friday, Harshbarger told the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which addresses what Harshbarger calls a “loophole.” The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act to specifically require registrants to investigate reports of suspicious orders of controlled substances and halt them if necessary. Under the version of the act currently in force, drug manufacturers and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids and other controlled substances to the DEA.

“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities. In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances.”

“My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome” Harshbarger continued.

The Daily Caller reports:

According to a congressional report released in September, the opioid crisis cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total.

Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.

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