The pandemic has also increased the use of potentially effective, but unproved uses of other FDA-approved medications for the management of COVID-19-related complications. The CPRQ will be able to evaluate their effectiveness in both hospitalized and ambulatory patients.
Q: What are you telling patients about COVID-19’s potential risks and symptoms? What are their chief concerns regarding their medications?
Fortunately, there is very good information available regarding the risks of COVID-19, and hence, most patients are aware of what to look for. Patients, however, may not be as knowledgeable about the medications used to manage this infection, including HCQ. We are careful to educate patients about the potential risks and possible benefits, as well as clinically important drug interactions.
Q: How is the pandemic affecting you and your staff personally?
Working in a medical center caring for so many COVID-19 patients, we have been quite stressed and inundated, to say the least. This [situation] is all new to us and came about so rapidly. I believe some of this stress comes more from what we don’t know about the disease. A fear of the unknown can be pretty scary. It also is very hard to see our friends and colleagues get infected. It’s also just as joyous to see them return to us healthy as ever—and we all united and ready to care for our patients on the frontline of this pandemic.
Mary Choy, PharmD, BCGP, FASHP, is a medical writer and editor living in New York City. Dr. Choy is director of pharmacy practice at the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists. She is also the author of Healthcare Heroes: The Medical Careers Guide.