Shortages of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) have been reported as possible treatments for coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19). Researchers wanted to know how rheumatologists, one of the most popular HCQ/CQ prescribers, administered these medicines to control COVID-19 and if their patients were affected by shortages. An online survey was given to a convenience sample of rheumatologists practising medicine in a variety of settings worldwide between April 8 and April 27, 2020, yielding 506 answers. Poisson regression models with adjustments were computed. Only 6% of respondents recommended HCQ/CQ for COVID-19 prophylaxis, and only 12% prescribed it for COVID-19 outpatient therapy. In India, the chance of prescribing HCQ/CQ for prophylaxis was greater than in the US. Furthermore, when compared to the United States and those with 1 to 5 years of experience, rheumatologists in Europe and those with 10+ years of experience were more likely to prescribe HCQ/CQ for outpatient therapy. Notably, 71% of all rheumatologists reported that HCQ/CQ shortages had a direct impact on their patients.
According to the findings, only a tiny fraction of rheumatologists prescribe HCQ/CQ for COVID-19 prevention or outpatient therapy. Medication shortages encountered by a high number of autoimmune disease patients are alarming and should be considered when making decisions, especially considering the poor effectiveness evidence for HCQ/CQ in COVID-19.