According to the study, after the research shown that the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can potentially treat coronavirus, the demand has increased in the US and Washington D.C by 86.2% and 158.6% respectively between February and March.
JAMA Internal Medicine report has also shown that the prescriptions for both hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, antibiotic hydroxychloroquine is sometimes combined with, that patients received have increased by 1,044% during the same period of time.
The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team, PharmD, MPH, Nadine Shehab, and her team collected information from real-world database comprise all the initial prescriptions and insights, IQVIA Total Patient Tracker, which have all the refills paid for by Medicaid, commercial third parties, Medicare Part D or cash. According to the study, the database generally records around 3.5 billion transactions from the US’s 92% of the retail pharmacies on a yearly basis.
The research reported that the estimated mean number provided by outpatient monthly for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prescriptions was steady. However, from early February to March, each district and state of Columbia had recorded a hike in distributed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine prescriptions.
Some of the states have also shown the most massive spike in the coronavirus cases, including Florida with 156.7%, New Jersey with 193.8%, New York with 123.3%, and Hawaii with 129.9%. Lowa and South Dakota have shown 44.4% and 37.4% comparatively fewer cases of coronavirus, respectively.
The study had also stated that the collected data does not explicitly include information on prescribing indication, which also means that not all increased dispensing is for COVID-19. The researchers also added that the data were collected earlier to most of the treatment guidelines were released.
Nadine Shehab and her colleagues wrote that data collected state-wise could help targeted efforts to enhance prescribing. As the pandemic is on its peak on spreading like wildfire and the ongoing assessment of the use of potential therapies would be very important to inform appropriate and safe treatment, along with pointing an adverse event reporting to FDA’s MedWatch safety reporting program.
The use of an anti-malarial drug, namely hydroxychloroquine, is commonly used by rheumatologists for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions, now for treating coronavirus, which has lately been in debates. In March, President Donald J. Trump had promoted hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment of coronavirus. On 30th March, the FDA had also issued an emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine drugs for the treatment of coronavirus.
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