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In February 2020, Italy was the first European country to detect coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals and rapidly turned into one of the most-affected regions of the world. The National Health Service (NHS), which provides universal coverage to citizens, was challenged as never before in the history of the institution. Because no approved drug was available, patients received potentially effective drugs, participated in clinical trials, accessed compassionate drug use programs, or self-medicated.1 The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in drug demand during the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy compared with the period before the outbreak.
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Accepted for Publication: December 21, 2020.
Published: February 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.37060
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Ammassari A et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Adriana Ammassari, MD, Italian Medicines Agency, Via del Tritone, 181, 00187 Rome, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Drs Ammassari and Di Filippo contributed equally to the study. Dr Di Filippo had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Di Filippo, M.P. Trotta, F. Trotta, Magrini.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Ammassari, Di Filippo, Traversa, Pierantozzi, F. Trotta.
Drafting of the manuscript: Ammassari, M.P. Trotta.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Ammassari, Di Filippo, Traversa, Pierantozzi, F. Trotta, Magrini.
Statistical analysis: Di Filippo, Pierantozzi.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Di Filippo.
Supervision: M.P. Trotta, Traversa, F. Trotta, Magrini.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Additional Contributions: We thank all members of the Italian Medicines Agency Technical Scientific Committee, who provided scientific advice on emergency regulation for COVID-19 clinical trials and compassionate use. Claudia Biffoli, MSc, and Chiara Brutti, MSc (Italian Ministry of Health), provided raw data and did not receive compensation.
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