Georgia pharmacists separate coronavirus fact from fiction

It can be hard to separate fact from fiction surrounding the coronavirus. But two pharmacists are seeking to do just that, debunk false information.

“It’s hard enough for me as somebody who does this as a profession to keep up with all this information,” said Chris Bland, a clinical associate professor at the UGA College of Pharmacy Savannah campus. “A lot of my questions have come from patients trying to figure out what is real and what is fact and what is fiction.”

Professor Bland and his colleague Timothy Brown want to address a myth that there is a proven treatment for coronavirus. To be clear, that is not true.

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Researchers are conducting trials to find that treatment, but experts have yet to discover a cure.

Brown, who works on UGA’s Athens campus, has been in the field for more than 25 years. Even he is surprised by what COVID-19 has brought.

“For the first time in my career, I’m watching clinical trials get up and started in a week’s period of time,” said Brown, the director of interprofessional education at UGA’s College of Pharmacy. “This is one of the first times in my history in which I’ve seen the FDA and drug manufacturers working together to increase getting product to the market.”

The two want to emphasize you should continue taking your currently prescribed medication.

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They say some people have stopped taking their prescriptions out of fear of its reaction to the coronavirus.

“By stopping those medications, that’s a really quick way to get admitted to the hospital for the condition that you’re actually using it for,” Bland said. “Any time you’re thinking about starting or stopping, if you’re on a chronic prescription medication, before you stop it, talk to a pharmacist or your ordering provider.”

Bland and Brown hope to see a vaccine developed by next summer. In the meantime, do your research, call a pharmacist, and stay healthy.

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Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georiga

Best prevention measures:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


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