Sunday, 22 March 2020

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Letter to Prescribers

Prescribing Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Open letter to Prescribers

As the National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) representing Australia’s 32,000 Pharmacists, we are providing this open letter to all Australian prescribers regarding the Prescribing hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

On the background of some promising data showing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 and with President Trump’s announcement yesterday, 20 March 2020, that the drug hydroxychloroquine may support the care of patients affected by COVID-19, Australian community pharmacies have seen unprecedented demand for the drug.

PSA is receiving reports from Australian pharmacists that they are receiving prescriptions from: doctors prescribing for other doctors and their families; as well as dentists prescribing to the community and their families; Non-medical prescribers prescribing bulk amounts of the drug. If this medication does indeed have the efficacy that we would desire against COVID-19 then it needs to be prescribed and used judiciously. The stock of this medication needs to be managed effectively and utilised for those who may genuinely need it.

Our strong advice to pharmacists at this point in time, until further advice is available, is to refuse the dispensing of hydroxychloroquine if there is not a genuine need, and that need is for those indications for what it is approved for – inflammatory conditions or the suppression and treatment of malaria The current stock of hydroxychloroquine needs to be managed sensibly, it needs to be available for those who are currently being prescribed this medicine, and it may also be needed for treatment of COVID-19 in the future. We are urging pharmacists to manage their existing stock if they have it sensibly, ensuring those who are currently prescribed the medicine have an existing supply.

PSA will continue to work with the Minister for Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) with regards to the appropriate management of national stockpiles and medicines stock in Australia. PSA would like to keep safe any stock of hydroxychloroquine held in local pharmacies – so it is available to treat patients who genuinely need this medicine. The only way this is possible is for prescribers to not write prescriptions for this medicine as a ‘just in case’ measure and for pharmacists to refuse the supply outside of these indications at this point in time.

While the data may not yet be clear, if hydroxychloroquine is shown to be effective for COVID-19, we want every dose available to treat those who may require it.

Yours sincerely,

Associate Professor Chris Freeman
PSA National President


Anonymous said...

The media is pumping propaganda to manipulate the public. Most people have a mild flu as the governments reduce the numbers of those on benefits.


Zoe Brain said...

In the US, the average daily death toll from all forms of the flu over the last 6 yezrs has been 168.

Yesterday, the death toll from COVID-19 was 26. Doubling about every week.

It will continue to double every week for some months.

Common coronaviruses found in humans are :

229E (alpha coronavirus)
NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
OC43 (beta coronavirus)
HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

These are responsible for about a third of cases of the "common cold". If you have ever had a cold at any time in your entire life, odds are pretty good you have been exposed to one or more of them. They are now endemic in humans, and probably have been for a while.

When they first infected us, before both evolution and passing down of antibodies from mother to child defanged them, they were probably equally as deadly. Common Colds can still be deadly to the aged and infirm, but few get pneumonia from them (I did this time last year, it knocked me about a bit, but 3 months later I was back on my feet).

Flu is still a problem, but that's in addition to this one. And yes, the homeless and poor are more likely not to get the simple medical treatment that can reduce the death toll, in both cases.

We have to do something about that. This is not a beat up though. Millions will die in the US alone, ten million or more if we don't get our act together. Bear in mind that 3 million Americans die every year, so even 10 million more over 3 years is not going to leave piles of bodies in the streets. Just a doubling in the number of funerals, hardly noticeable.

Anonymous said...

"CDC: 80,000 people died of flu last winter in U.S., highest death toll in 40 years"

I do not know where you get your data but it is wrong. First clue is everyone dies at sometime. The government can not afford to keep the promise to give the benefits to old people or even the veterans. The world has finite resources, but the over population is using them faster than nature makes them. Over 4 billion live in poverty. If governments pump money into the economy it will cause inflation because of limited resources. The poor will get poorer and might cause more wars. The earth has been culled before. I am 71 and am not worried. A life in fear and without freedom is not worth living.

Hope you are doing well. Propaganda is a powerful tool like religion.

Hugs Lisa