Public Warned about Potential Harm with Unproven Therapies for COVID-19

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC) joins with College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, and B.C. College of Nursing Professionals to issue warning on the use of unproven treatments and medications for COVID-19.

According to the College of Pharmacists, as the COVID-19 global health pandemic continues, health professionals are aware of online and social media-driven conversations about the use of antibiotics and antiviral therapies to treat other conditions are being considered to treat COVID-19 patients.

The CPBC share it is critical to note that at this time, a proven treatment for COVID-19 does not exist.

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“It is important to understand that there are potential harms to the patient, risks to our understanding of what is truly a beneficial treatment or not, and depleting access to therapies known to be helpful or essential in other disease states. For these reasons, the use of unproven therapies for COVID 19 is not recommended outside clinical trials.” said the B.C. Center for Disease Control

Some of the unproven treatment claims may include and are not limited to;
hydroxychloroquine
chloroquine
azithromycin
lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
colchicine

The responsibility that health professionals have to their patients and their profession is evidence-based care. These professionals must not yield to well-intentioned patient pressure around unproven and potentially dangerous uses of existing medications.

The CPBC says doing so could present significant health risks to those patients as well as other unintended consequences such as critical shortages of these existing medications for patients who need them to treat other conditions.

Physicians and nurse practitioners are reminded of their obligation and to not prescribe these therapies for COVID-19 outside the context of a clinical trial. Pharmacists are being instructed not to dispense them if they do.

Information around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and new recommendations and evidence may become available with time.

For more information on the unproven therapies for COVID-19; CLICK HERE 

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