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American Medical Association statement to PolitiFact about chloroquine and coronavirus

This is the full statement provided to PolitiFact by the American Medical Association about its concerns about the use of chloroquine to treat coronavirus and its unintended consequences:

"The American Medical Association is aware that some physicians and others are prophylactically prescribing medications currently identified as potential treatments for COVID-19 (e.g., chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin)…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. We strongly oppose these actions.

"We caution patients, 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. The efficacy and safety of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 is not established.

"The AMA bases its recommendations on public health and science, not politics, and we will continue to do so.

"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 health care 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."