April 2, 2020 | Sermo Reports press release here.
Largest Statistically Significant Study by 6,200 Multi-Country Physicians on COVID-19 Uncovers Treatment Patterns and Puts Pandemic in Context
Sermo Reports on Hydroxychloroquine Efficacy, Rise in Prophylaxis Use;
New York, New York – April 2, 2020 – Widespread confusion, conflicting reports, inconsistent testing, and off-indication use of existing and experimental drugs has resulted in no single source of information from the frontlines. To create a centralized and dynamic knowledge base, Sermo, the largest healthcare data collection company and global social platform for physicians, leveraged its capabilities to publish results of a COVID-19 study with more than 6,200 physicians in 30 countries.
The study was completed in three days. Data covers current treatment and prophylaxis options, timing to the outbreak peak, effectiveness of government responses, and much more. Results of the first wave can be found at sermo.com. Multiple study waves including a deeper dive into treatments will be conducted over the next several weeks, and Sermo is calling all physicians globally to participate.
Treatments & Efficacy
- The three most commonly prescribed treatments amongst COVID-19 treaters 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 the U.S., 17% in Germany, 16% in Canada, 13% in the UK and 7% in Japan
Hydroxychloroquine was overall chosen as the most effective therapy amongst COVID-19 treaters from a list of 15 options (37% of COVID-19 treaters)
- 75% in Spain, 53% Italy, 44% in China, 43% in Brazil, 29% in France, 23% in the U.S. and 13% in the U.K.
The two most common treatment regimens for Hydroxychloroquine were:
- (38%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 400 mg daily for five days
- (26%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 200mg twice daily for four days
- Outside the U.S., Hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the U.S. 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 Wave of Outbreak
- The second global outbreak is anticipated by 83% of global physicians, 90% of U.S. physicians but only 50% of Chinese physicians
Average Testing Time
- On average tests in the U.S. take 4-5 days, and in 10% of cases the wait is more than 7 days
- 14% of U.S. 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 Treatment if 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 U.S.
- France, Japan, and Italy prioritized age
- Brazil and Russia prioritized higher risk patients
Peak Timing & Restrictions
- In the U.S., 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
Top Three Equipment Needs
- Top three needs globally are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), followed by rapid COVID-19 testing kits, then ventilators
Top Three Information Needs
- Physicians are most in need of knowing when rapid tests will become available, when new treatments will become available, and the efficacy of existing medications to treat coronavirus
- A majority of physicians are very concerned about spreading it to family members and ~50% are concerned about catching COVID-19 in the next two months
- 81% of physicians have taken special precautions at home, including changing their clothes and showering before joining family; some even stay in isolation
- Close to a quarter of physicians and over a third of patients report extreme stress
Peter Kirk, CEO, Sermo, said:
“This is a treasure trove of global insights for policy makers. Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world. With censorship of the media and the medical community in some countries, along with biased and poorly designed studies, solutions to the pandemic are being delayed. We invite global physicians to contribute to help inform policy makers, their colleagues, and the public.”
Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University School of Medicine
“This survey of front line doctors shows the value of critical information sharing between countries. That is the only way that a new insight from one country can rapidly save lives around the world,” said and a scientific advisor to Sermo.
Results provide physician observations but are not a substitute for official medical guidelines.
Results are reported for individual countries with a minimum sample size of 250. Such a sample size provides for point estimates with a +/- 6% precision at a 94% confidence level. Thirty countries included in the study are the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, India, and Hong Kong. No incentive was offered to respondents. Full methodology here.
Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1.3 milliohn HCPs across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and participate in medical market research. For more information, visit sermo.com.