Statement of the Colorado House of Medicine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2020 / UPDATED: April 2, 2020
Media Contact: Kate Alfano, 512-788-0085 

The Colorado House of Medicine applauds physicians and pharmacists for their tireless work during this pandemic as they put themselves in harm’s way providing care to Colorado’s patients. The foremost ethical obligation of physicians and pharmacists during times of crisis is to provide urgent medical care and ensure availability and appropriate use of necessary medications. 

We are releasing this statement to highlight the critical role that physicians, pharmacists and health systems play in stewarding resources for patient care during times of emergency like the current COVID-19 outbreak. We have received reports that some physicians and others 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. We strongly oppose these actions.

We want to stress that data on the safety and effectiveness of using these medications for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 are limited. On March 28, 2020, the FDA authorized the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for hospitalized COVID-19 patients for whom clinical trials were not an option. At the same time, a CDC Health Advisory warned of severe illness associated with the use of non-pharmaceutical Chloroquine Phosphate to treat or prevent COVID-19. While these medications may be used for appropriate patients, based on clinical judgment and following CDC and FDA guidance and understanding the limited data and risks, they should not be prescribed for possible future or personal use. These important medicines are necessary for individuals with diseases such as lupus, HIV, and malaria among others, and are greatly needed by these patients, especially now. We strongly support regulations that a prescription of these or any medications be written only for legitimate medical purposes and encourage physicians, pharmacists and others to uphold their commitments to the care of their patients. 

We are confident in the professional and ethical judgment of physicians and pharmacists across the state to make the right decisions for their patients, communities, and the health care system overall. 

Joint Statement By:
American Academy of Pediatrics, Colorado Chapter
American College of Emergency Physicians, Colorado Chapter
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Colorado Academy of Family Physicians
Colorado Medical Society
Colorado Psychiatric Society
Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine

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Categories: Communications, Press Releases, Resources, COVID