COVID19: Cyprus patients to get prescription drugs

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Cyprus GPs can go ahead and authorise prescriptions through the General Healthcare System of a combination of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Health Insurance Organisation said.

It said authorities were adopting the guidelines recommended by the Advisory Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health.

The HIO stressed that prescribing the combination of these drugs are only available to patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, following a laboratory test.

All confirmed COVID-19 patients holding a prescription from their GPs through the GHS computer system can call one of the 12 private pharmacies across Cyprus, to access the drugs.

They will be delivered to patients’ homes by a group of volunteers in collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism, delivery will be coordinated by the Health Insurance Agency.

“Not all patients need treatment, therefore starting it should be decided by the doctor on the basis of guidelines issued by the health ministry advisory committee,” HIO said.

There are mixed results from various small studies on the effectiveness of these drugs.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are anti-malarial drugs while azithromycin is an antibiotic.

There are no proven treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 which has now sickened more than 874,000 people worldwide, killed at least 43,300.