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Retired physician inappropriately prescribes hydroxychloroquine

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November Messenger 2020, Prescribing | Posted November 17, 2020

As part of the resolution for a previous complaint, Dr. Amrik Bassi of Calgary agreed to retire from medical practice as of Dec. 31, 2019. In March 2020, Dr. Bassi is alleged to have written a prescription for a large quantity of hydroxychloroquine. When the pharmacist declined to fill the prescription, Dr. Bassi asked that it be destroyed. The pharmacist refused and subsequently informed CPSA.

CPSA contacted Dr. Bassi to inquire why he was issuing prescriptions after retiring from practice. Dr. Bassi advised it was intended not as a prescription, but rather an “authorization” for the purchase of hydroxychloroquine for his former clinic, where he still had a management role. Given the uncertainty around the pandemic, Dr. Bassi reportedly felt it would be prudent to have the drug on hand, despite recognizing medical research does not support the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

To settle this complaint, Dr. Bassi reaffirmed his retirement as of Dec. 31, 2019, in writing, acknowledged his attempted prescribing was inappropriate and agreed to publication of details regarding this complaint resolution in The Messenger.

It is incumbent on all physicians to abide by agreements with CPSA, as part of maintaining the trust of Albertans to ensure physicians provide high-quality care. It is also critical for physicians to practise evidence-based care that is in the best interest of their patients. Earlier this year, CPSA and the Alberta College of Pharmacy reminded all health practitioners that medications must be prescribed and dispensed according to their approved use. Currently, there is still no role for hydroxychloroquine treatment in COVID-19.

If you have any questions about prescribing, please feel free to reach Continuing Competence for support using the form below:

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