Of the 6,227 doctors surveyed in 30 countries, 37% described hydroxychloroquine as “the most effective therapy” to fight the potentially fatal disease, according to results released Thursday.
The survey, conducted by global health care survey company Sermo, also found that 23% of healthcare professionals had prescribed the drug in the United States – far less than in other countries.
“Outside the United States, hydroxychloroquine was also used for patients diagnosed with mild to severe symptoms, while in the United States, it was most often used for patients diagnosed at high risk,” revealed investigation.
The drug was most widely used in Spain, where 72% of doctors said they prescribed it.
A debate on hydroxychloroquine started two weeks ago after President Trump presented the drug as a possible “game changer” in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting critics to accuse him of peddling unproven and untested remedies.
To date, “there is no evidence” that a drug “can prevent or cure the disease,” according to the World Health Organization.
But Sermo CEO Peter Kirk called the election results “a treasure trove of global knowledge for policy makers”.
“Doctors should have more say in how we manage this pandemic and be able to share information quickly with each other and with the world,” he said in a press release.
The 30 countries where doctors were interviewed included countries from Europe, South America and Australia – and no incentives were provided to participate, the company said.