Nearly 50% of Brazilian doctors said they felt pressured by patients or their families to prescribe medicines for Covid-19 treatment, despite not having scientific evidence showing the drugs are effective, according to a survey released Sunday by the Medical Association of Sao Paulo State (APM).
The APM surveyed 1,984 doctors across the country online and by phone between June 25 and July 2.
According to the survey, misinformation about the effectiveness of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, both promoted by President Jair Bolsonaro, has interfered in coronavirus treatment.
What are the findings: The survey shows that 49.8% of doctors said they have felt pressure from patients or family members to prescribe drugs without proof of its effectiveness; 50.4% of them said information about the drugs being shared on social media conflicts with scientific findings, leading to some patients questioning decisions made by health professionals.
It also found that 69.2% of the doctors say encouraging the use of medicines without scientific support leads patients to treat the disease lightly, refuse to follow self- isolation rules and hygiene measures, and not to seek treatment by the appropriate health services.
The Sao Paulo state-based APM is the biggest regional association of doctors of Brazil with 72,500 members, according to its website. The organization is an affiliate of the Brazilian Medical Association, which represents 350,000 physicians around the country.