Doctors report on using Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin

Percentage of New York Physicians Who Have Used Hydroxychloroquine Nearly Doubled, Italian and French Physicians Jumped 30% Points + Over 2 Weeks

Plasma Still Perceived as Most Effective but Not Widely Used

Perception of Hydroxychloroquine’s Efficacy is Significantly Higher Among Physicians in Europe and China vs US Physicians (50% vs 29%)

New York, New York – April 15, 2020 – Week three data of the Barometer study from 4016 physicians in 30 countries conducted by Sermo reveals the emergence of treatment patterns and efficacy perceptions. Sermo, the largest global healthcare polling company and social platform for physicians, has published unrestricted access to the results of its Real Time Barometer study on

Key findings:

In Wave 3 we explored perceptions of physicians who were high vs moderate vs low treaters of COVID patients. The total number of physician respondents for Wave 3 was 4016. Of those, 33% treated COVID patients (n=1337).

The COVID treaters (1337) breakdown was:

  • 42% of COVID treaters have treated between 1-5 patients
  • 20% of COVID treaters have treated between 6 -10 patients
  • 38% of COVID treaters have treated between 11 and more patients

We did not find significant differences between highly active and low active COVID treaters in the below findings.

Usage patterns among COVID treaters (N= 1337)

  • The top three treatments that doctors reported having prescribed were Azithromycin (58%), Hydroxychloroquine (50%), and Bronchodilators (48%); traditional Chinese medicine has been used by 67% of physicians in China.

Week over week increases in usage

  • Percentage of physicians in New York who have used Hydroxychloroquine nearly doubled since Wave 1 week of March 25 (23% to 40% to 43% wave over wave).
  • Italy and France had the highest increase in COVID treaters having prescribed Hydroxychloroquine wave over wave; an increase from 50% to 83% for Italy and an increase from 20% to 50% for France.
  • The number of COVID treaters that report having used Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin both increased 17% points since Wave 1 the week of March 25.
    • Hydroxychloroquine Wave 1: 33%, Wave 2: 44%, Wave 3: 50%
    • Azithromycin Wave 1: 41%, Wave 2: 50%, Wave 3: 58%
  • The number of COVID treaters that report having used Bronchodilators increased 12% points (from 36% to 48%) week over week.
  • Usage of anti-HIV drugs (e.g. Lopinavir plus Ritonavir), drugs to treat the flu (e.g. Oseltamivir), and plasma from recovered patients remains steady week over week, while use of non-approved drugs (e.g. Remdesivir) decreased slightly.

Perceived treatment efficacy

  • Physicians who treat COVID patients in Italy, Spain, France, and China have higher perceptions of Hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy vs the US (~50% vs 29%).
  • The top treatments that have been used/seen used and reported as very or extremely effective among COVID treaters (N= 1337) include:
    • 46% plasma from recovered patients (n=363); 40% Hydroxychloroquine (n=875); 38% high dose steroids during a cytokine storm (n=556)
    • No significant differences of perceived efficacy were observed between highly active COVID treaters and users of these drugs (physicians treating 11+ patients) and lower active COVID treaters (1-10 patients)
    • 55% of physicians in China who have used traditional Chinese medicine rated traditional Chinese medicine as effective or extremely effective

Most popular Hydroxychloroquine dosage regimen

  • 75% report using 400mg BID on day one (800mg total), then 400 mg daily for 4-5 days
  • 10% report using 600mg BID on day one (1,200mg total), then 400 mg daily for 4 days


Most results are reported for individual countries with a minimum sample size of 250. A sample size of 250 point estimates have a precision of a +/- 6% precision at a 94% confidence level. Where sample sizes are smaller, N sizes are noted. 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.

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1,3MM 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

Media Contact:

Niki Franklin
Racepoint Global on behalf of Sermo
+1 617 624 3264