Repurposed drugs that have been shown to prevent or treat COVID-19 may be prescribed by physicians, the Florida Department of Health said in its new COVID-19 guidance for health care practitioners.
The guidance, quietly published on February 24, says that health care practitioners are encouraged to provide early treatment for COVID-19 patients with federally approved generic drugs that they find will work. That’s in addition to the outpatient treatments granted emergency authorization usage for people at risk of developing a serious illness.
“When recommending COVID-19 treatment options for patients’ individualized health care needs, physicians should exercise their individual clinical judgment and expertise based on their patient’s needs and preferences,” the guidance states. “These options may include emerging treatments backed by quality evidence, with appropriate patient informed consent, including off-label use or as part of a clinical trial.”
The new guidance is an effort by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to offer health care practitioners protection from lawsuits. He said that it’s important for doctors to be able to have access to these drugs.
“We want people to be able to have a right to access these medications, especially if they’re in a situation where nothing else has worked,” DeSantis said in a video announcing the changes.