When fear and misinformation go viral: Pharmacists' role in deterring medication misinformation during the 'infodemic' surrounding COVID-19

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The world has faced an unprecedented challenge when coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged as a pandemic. Millions of people have contracted the virus and a significant number of them lost their lives, resulting in a tremendous social and economic shock across the globe. Amid the growing burden of the pandemic, there are parallel emergencies that need to be simultaneously tackled: the proliferation of fake medicines, fake news and medication misinformation surrounding COVID-19. Pharmacists are key health professionals with the required skills and training to contribute to the fight against these emergencies. Primarily, they can be a relevant source of accurate and reliable information to the public or other fellow health professionals thereby reducing the spread of COVID-19 medication misinformation. This can be achieved by providing accurate and reliable information based on recommendations given by relevant health authorities and professional associations to make sure the community understand the importance of the message and thus minimise the detrimental consequences of the pandemic. This commentary aims to summarise the existing literature in relation to the promising treatments currently under trial, the perils of falsified medications and medicine-related information and the role of pharmacists in taking a leading role in combating these parallel global emergencies.




Erku, D. A., Belachew, S. A., Abrha, S., Sinnollareddy, M., Thomas, J., Steadman, K. J., & Tesfaye, W. H. (2021, January 1). When fear and misinformation go viral: Pharmacists’ role in deterring medication misinformation during the “infodemic” surrounding COVID-19. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2020.04.032

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