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Assessment of Outpatient Dispensing of Products Proposed for Treatment or Prevention of COVID-19 by US Retail Pharmacies During the Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article

Prior to November 2020, there were no US Food and Drug Administration-authorized products for outpatient coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention or treatment. There have been surges in prescriptions for products (such as hydroxychloroquine1) proposed to treat COVID-19, but only approved for other conditions. We sought to determine if outpatient retail dispensing frequency of proposed treatments for COVID-19 increased since the March 13, 2020, declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: January 27, 2021.

Published Online: February 11, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.0299

Corresponding Author: Andrew I. Geller, MD, CDC COVID-19 Response Team, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop V18-4, Atlanta, GA 30329 (ageller@cdc.gov).

Author Contributions: Dr Geller 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: Geller, Lovegrove, Budnitz.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Geller.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Lovegrove.

Obtained funding: Budnitz.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Geller, Lovegrove, Lind.

Supervision: Datta, Budnitz.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.

References
1.
Shehab  N , Lovegrove  M , Budnitz  DSUS .  US Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine, and Azithromycin Outpatient Prescription Trends, October 2019 Through March 2020.   JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(10):1384-1386. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2594PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/
3.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Assessment of Evidence for COVID-19-Related Treatments. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.ashp.org/-/media/assets/pharmacy-practice/resource-centers/Coronavirus/docs/ASHP-COVID-19-Evidence-Table.ashx
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US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://surveillance.cancer.gov/joinpoint/
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US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC COVID Data Tracker - Daily Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases in the United States Reported to CDC. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendscases
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US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorizations: Drug and Biological Products. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization#coviddrugs
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