TUCSON, Ariz., April 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- American Medical Association president Patrice Harris, M.D., told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she would not prescribe hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to a patient with COVID-19. It would be "inappropriate prescribing" because the FDA has not approved the drug for this new virus. It might have negative side effects, including deaths. Also, we need to keep supplies available for patients who have lupus and other conditions she said. For COVID, "it is unproven…. At this point we just don't have the data."
In response, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) released the following statement:
"Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have been FDA approved for about 70 years and have been extensively and safely used worldwide for malaria and other conditions. Obtaining approval for a new indication is extremely costly and usually takes years. Although drugs cannot be marketed for an 'off-label' indication, they may be prescribed, and probably one in five prescriptions is off label.
"The Oath of Hippocrates states that physicians have the duty to 'prescribe according to my ability and my judgment.'
"So far, data are showing successful results, even in some patients who were near death. Results appear to be best when HCQ is given early in combination with zinc and the common antibiotic azithromycin. Data pouring in from many countries show that as many as 98 percent of patients improve with this treatment, and there is very little risk, according to our tabulation, which is being updated periodically.
"There are NO FDA-approved preventives or therapies for this novel illness. The ethical and humane action is for physicians to prescribe remedies for which there is a scientific basis and favorable current experience. These include HCQ as well as high-dose intravenous vitamin C. The alternative is to deny patients the best available chance to live.
"FDA bureaucracy has delayed testing and obstructed the provision of protective gear. Professional societies like the AMA, governors, and medical and pharmacy boards should not be forbidding the long-accepted practice of prescribing FDA-approved drugs for newly discovered uses. This unprecedented interference with the practice of medicine could result in thousands of needless deaths, and delay control of a deadly pandemic."
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has represented physicians of all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto—everything for the patient.
SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)