Hydroxychloroquine ‘most effective’ against coronavirus, finds global survey of doctors

By: News Desk      Published: 12:43 PM, 5 Apr, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine ‘most effective’ against coronavirus, finds global survey of doctors

A global survey of more than 6,000 doctors conducted found that malarial drug hydroxychloroquine was the most highly rated treatment against the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

The survey conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, found that 6,227 physicians in 30 countries found that 37% of those treating COVID-19 patients rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” from a list of 15 options.

Early this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine for treatment of coronavirus patients. Previously available for “off-label” use, the FDA now gives hospitals and doctors emergency permission to use the anti-malarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat coronavirus patients.

The survey also found that the three most commonly prescribed treatments are 56% analgesics, 41% Azithromycin, and 33% Hydroxychloroquine.


Hydroxychloroquine usage amongst COVID-19 treaters is 72% in Spain, 49% in Italy, 41% in Brazil, 39% in Mexico, 28% in France, 23% in US, 17% in Germany, 16% in Canada, 13% in UK and 7% in Japan.

Hydroxychloroquine was overall chosen as the most effective therapy from a list of 15 options (37% of COVID-19 treaters).

The two most common treatment regimens for Hydroxychloroquine were: (38%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 400 mg daily for 5 days. (26%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 200mg twice daily for 4 days.

Outside the US, Hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the US it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients.

Globally, 19% of physicians prescribed or have seen Hydroxychloroquine prophylactically used for high risk patients, and 8% for low risk patients.

Second global outbreak is anticipated by 83% of global physicians, 90% of US physicians but only 50% of Chinese physicians.

In the US, 63% of physicians recommend restrictions be lifted six or more weeks from now and 66% believe the peak is at least 3-4 weeks away.

Average Time for COVID-19 Test

On average tests in the US take 4-5 days, and in 10% of cases the wait is more than 7 days.

14% of US physicians and over 50% in all of Europe and Japan report getting test results in 24 hours; in China 73% of doctors get tests back in 24 hours, while 8% get tests back within the hour.

Prioritizing Patient Treatment in Case of Ventilator Shortage:

In all countries except China, the top criteria for deciding who should receive a ventilator first was patients with the highest chance of recovery (47%) followed by those most ill and at highest risk of death (21%), then first responders (15%).

In China the priorities were reversed as the most ill and highest risk of death received ventilators.

First responders were more important in the US.

France, Japan, and Italy prioritized age.

Brazil and Russia prioritized higher risk patients.