It has never happened that the government has restricted physicians from prescribing an FDA approved medication.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been FDA approved for 65-years. Once a medication is FDA approved it can be prescribed by a physician for any reason. If the medication is prescribed for the specific reason the drug manufacturer requested (e.g. pneumonia) that is called “on-label” use, and if it is prescribed for a different reason (e.g. bladder infection) that is called “off-label” use. Being on or off label is not related to the drug’s safety or efficacy. On-label designation means the FDA permits the drug manufacturer to advertise for a specific diagnosis. Physicians prescribe “off-label” 21% of the time and never consider if a drug is on or off label in their daily practice. There are many reasons for this including: physicians are already regulated by medical malpractice regulations and it is very expensive for a drug manufacturer to get additional “on-label” designations.
The other reason doctors are always allowed to prescribe off label is because it is desirable for doctors to be able to identify new treatments for new situations. When American doctors first starting treating Covid-19, they expected to be able to do as they always have done, which is to try safe medications they already knew including: ivermectin, budesonide, hydroxychloroquine, dexamethasone, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, azithromycin, among others. But during Covid-19, State Pharmacy Boards and State Governors have passed regulations that have restricted only hydroxychloroquine and only when being used for Covid-19! This dramatic departure from the way medicine has always been practiced is very alarming to people who are concerned about the doctor-patient relationship.
We have also attached a world map which shows how difficult or easy it is to obtain HCQ throughout the world. Very broadly speaking, the restriction on HCQ is severe in western democracies.