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STAT Op-Ed by Christi A. Grimm & Julie K. Taitsman: Why drug prescriptions should include diagnoses

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By Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi A. Grimm & Chief Medical Officer Julie K. Taitsman

The Covid-19 pandemic is teaching us many tragic lessons along with some instructive ones, like the importance of adding patients’ diagnoses to their prescriptions. An example from 2020 shows why. In the spring and summer of 2020, there was a dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions written for hydroxychloroquine, a proven therapy for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis that was being hyped as a treatment for Covid-19. But it is difficult to determine the reason for the spike in prescribing because the data shed no light on why the drug was prescribed.

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