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B.C. health-care professionals warn about use of unproven COVID-19 treatments and medications

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO says there is no proven treatment against COVID-19
In a seeming response to claims made by U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said that as of Monday there is "no proven treatment" against COVID-19, and urged against those who would spread "false hope" through the use of "untested medicines."

A group of B.C. health-care professionals has issued a warning about the threats posed by unproven treatments and medications for COVID-19.

Contrary to information spreading on social media, a proven treatment for COVID-19 does not exist, says a joint statement from College of Pharmacists of BC, College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, and BC College of Nursing Professionals.

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They also warn against the use of unproven therapies for COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir, and colchicine.

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They go on to say a surge in interest in unproven COVID-19 treatments could lead to a shortage of drugs that could be used to help patients with other conditions.

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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,” the statement said.

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Physicians and nurse practitioners are asked not to prescribe such therapies for COVID-19 outside the context of a clinical trial, and pharmacists should not dispense them if they do.

Canada is one of several countries taking part in a massive trial to test possible new coronavirus treatments involving drugs that are already in use for other illnesses like HIV, ebola and malaria.