WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists issued a joint statement  today on inappropriate ordering, prescribing or dispensing of medications to treat COVID-19. The organizations issued this joint statement to highlight the important role that physicians, pharmacists and health systems play in being just stewards of health care resources during times of emergency and national disaster.

The joint statement is in response to reports of physicians and others prescribing or dispensing medications currently identified as potential treatments for COVID-19 (e.g., chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin) for themselves, their families, or their colleagues. There also are reports that some entities have been purchasing excessive amounts of these medications through commercial distribution channels in anticipation of potentially using them for COVID-19 prevention and treatment. The organizations strongly oppose these actions that can lead to supply disruptions for patients who need these medicines for chronic conditions.

Stockpiling these medications—or depleting supplies with excessive, anticipatory orders—can have grave consequences for patients with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis if the drugs are not available in the community. The health care community must collectively balance the needs of patients taking medications on a regular basis for an existing condition with new prescriptions that may be needed for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Being just stewards of limited resources is essential.

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Editor’s note: The original joint statement was updated on April 17 to provide further detail and clarification about key areas that have evolved in recent weeks.

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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