AMA, APhA and ASHP Issue COVID-19 Drug Statement

March 27, 2020

The American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) have issued a joint statement on ordering, prescribing or dispensing COVID-19 medications. The statement notes their strong opposition to “physicians and others who are prophylactically prescribing medications currently identified as potential treatments for COVID-19 (e.g., chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin) for themselves, their families, or their colleagues; and that some pharmacies and hospitals have been purchasing excessive amounts of these medications in anticipation of potentially using them for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.”

The organizations said they “caution hospitals, health systems, and individual practitioners that no medication has been FDA-approved for use in COVID-19 patients, and there is no incontrovertible evidence to support off-label use of medications for COVID-19. 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 healthcare 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.”