Pharmacists under the aegis of Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria, CPAN, have warned Nigerians to be wary of several claims circulating on social media regarding cure for COVID-19, saying chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is at best a promising drug but not a certified cure.
This is coming few days after a video was released by a Nigerian physician based in the United States, Dr Stella Emmanuel who claimed she has treated about 350 COVID-19 patients with the combination of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, zinc and azithromycin with only one death, while others have fully recovered.
Dr Emmanuel had claimed that there is already cure for the respiratory infection and queried governments across the globe for watching their citizens’ die of the disease, while there is a cure already.
In a release sent to Pharmanewsonline, jointly signed by the National Chairman, Dr Joseph Madu and National Secretary, Dr Bukkie Moteehat Olu-Lawal, the association maintained that while drug regulatory agencies like the NAFDAC, FDA , WHO etc, saddled with approving medications for safety and effectiveness in the management of ailments have not endorsed chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, as a cure based on any study, it is imperative for the public to be careful about it.
Although the pharmacists explained that their note of caution to Nigerians is not to disparage the regimen, but it becomes imperative to sound an alarm to prevent an unusual fatality from the pandemic.
“This cautionary statement is not to disqualify chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine but to protect the general public against misuse of drugs such as chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, zinc, vitamin C and others.
“Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine and other cocktail of drugs such as those from the Plateau State COVID-19 research team, Lagos State research team, NIPRD, NIMR and many others are still undergoing clinical trials in Nigeria.
“What Dr Stella Emmanuel and other videos have said is what is referred to as expert opinion in science and is not enough to form conclusions with respect to evidence-based medicine”. The group insisted.
CPAN made up of clinical pharmacists involved in direct patient care at hospital bedsides or clinics, nursing homes, emergency departments or in community pharmacies where they mainly function to prevent, detect, categorize and resolve potential/actual drug therapy problems, urged governments and citizens to continue adhering to preventive protocols as stipulated by the WHO and NCDC.
They also called on governments at all levels to engage the services of more clinical pharmacists who are trained to advance Pharmaceutical care at the isolation and COVID-19 treatment centres, as this is in the best interest of the health seeking populace and in line with global best practices.