FACT CHECK: Did The American Medical Association Rescind Its Statement About Hydroxychloroquine?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the American Medical Association (AMA) rescinded its statement regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment.

Verdict: False

While the AMA policymaking body did consider a resolution proposing to rescind the statement, the resolution was not adopted. The AMA has not rescinded its statement regarding hydroxychloroquine.

Fact Check:

The image shows a screen grab of a Dec. 15 tweet that reads, “BREAKING: After thousands of lives lost, American Medical Association now rescinds hydroxychloroquine prevention order.” Kirstie Alley, an actress who has expressed support for President Donald Trump, tweeted a link to a Gateway Pundit article that made the same claim.

The AMA has not rescinded its statement on hydroxychloroquine, contrary to the post’s claim. In March, the AMA jointly issued a statement with the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists that expressed opposition against actions that could cause supply disruptions for patients that use the medication and its chemical cousin chloroquine for chronic conditions. Actions that could lead to the supply disruptions include doctors prescribing the medications for themselves, their families and colleagues, as well entities “purchasing excessive amounts of these medications through commercial distribution channels” to create stockpiles, according to the statement.

The statement, updated in April, said that “novel off-label use of FDA-approved medications is a matter for the physician’s or other prescriber’s professional judgment” and that “decisions to use these medications off-label must be made with extreme caution and careful monitoring” because “definitive evidence for the role of these drugs in treating COVID-19 patients has not been determined through robust clinical trials.” The AMA encouraged “patient-centered care decisions, made on an individualized basis with patients’ informed consent about the risks and benefits associated with any treatment regimen,” but also noted in the statement that “evidence-based science and practice must guide these determinations.”

The AMA’s policymaking body did consider a resolution that proposed rescinding its statement regarding hydroxychloroquine and, among other measures, issuing an updated statement “notifying patients that further studies are ongoing,” according to a document from the AMA’s November 2020 special meeting. However, the resolution was not adopted.

Furthermore, the AMA tweeted on Dec. 16 that its position on the matter “remains unchanged.” (RELATED: Viral Post Claims Nevada ‘Quietly’ Reversed Its Decision To ‘Block” Hydroxychloroquine Prescriptions For COVID-19 Treatment)

“In March, AMA urged caution about prescribing hydroxychloroquine off-label to treat #COVID-19,” the AMA tweeted in part. “Our position remains unchanged. Evidence-based #science & practice must guide these determinations.”

The Food and Drug Administration in June revoked its emergency use authorization to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients, saying that “recent data from a large randomized controlled trial showed no evidence of benefit for mortality or other outcomes such as hospital length of stay or need for mechanical ventilation of HCQ treatment” in such patients. President Donald Trump and others had touted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, according to Reuters.

Gateway Pundit and other websites have since updated their stories to reflect that the AMA did not rescind its statement regarding hydroxychloroquine use for COVID-19 treatment.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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