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Healthcare policy expert weighs in on Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 09:00:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A healthcare policy expert is calling into question Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's order to restrict chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

“There is absolutely no reason a politician should be playing doctor,” says Naomi Lopez, Goldwater Institute.

Lopez is the director of Healthcare Policy at the Goldwater Institute, where they focus on public policy work and litigation.

“The fact that the CDC and the FDA is facilitating this treatment and it is outlawed in one state, is absolutely absurd,” says Lopez.

The drugs have been used to treat illnesses like malaria, but the safety and effectiveness of the drugs has not been determined yet when it comes to coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy announced it would restrict prescribing the drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent hoarding.

RELATED: Nevada Pharmacy Board joins Gov. Sisolak to stop COVID-19 'drug hoarding'

Lopez agrees with that call.

“We do want to make sure that that drug is available to those patients that actually need it, and not being stockpiled,” says Lopez.

But, the principal of not letting the doctor decide on treatments based on their own medical experience and knowledge is her struggle.

“The governor should not interfere with that decision,” says Lopez.

These regulations came out just days after an Arizona couple took a non-pharmaceutical version of the drug.

The husband died, and his wife was hospitalized.

RELATED: Man dies, wife hospitalized after taking chemicals to protect from coronavirus

Officials believe they took the drug thinking it would help fight COVID-19.