The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which represents 136,700 Family Physicians, Family Medicine residents and medical students, acknowledges the pressures facing the healthcare system to rapidly address the COVID-19 pandemic through testing, treatment, and preventive measures.
The AAFP urges caution in prescribing therapeutics for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 that have not been approved for use in patients who have COVID-19 or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on substantial evidence for safety and efficacy. While certain medications or therapeutics have been approved or recommended for use in patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, there is no evidence supporting the use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, or azithromycin for COVID-19.
In addition, the AAFP advises against non-FDA approved therapeutics being stockpiled or prescribed as a preventive measure for the public at large. Family physicians should continue to provide these medications for conditions where there are approved indications.
The AAFP also supports the rapid evaluation of potential treatments through registered clinical trials and calls for the publication of full results in a transparent and timely manner. The AAFP calls for clinicians, healthcare systems, and policy makers to carefully consider the evidence and effectively weigh the benefits and the harms of any treatment. Given the increased burden on the healthcare system at this time, judicious and evidence-based use of limited resources is even more critical. (April 2020) (November 2020 BC)