OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
This week, the New Hampshire state senate passed a bill that would make Ivermectin available over the counter (OTC) at pharmacies, meaning there would be no need for a prescription for the drug. If the bill is signed, they would be the second state to do so. Tennessee passed a similar bill authorizing “ivermectin suitable for human use” to be purchased without a prescription.
This is, of course, a response to the wide-scale disinformation campaign by the Left to discredit an incredibly safe, cheap, and Nobel Prize-winning drug with decades of safety research and potential prophylactic COVID benefits. The disinformation campaign focused around leading the public to believe that Ivermectin is unsafe for human consumption as it is a horse-dewormer. While the drug is also used in horses, it has been successfully and safely used in humans for decades, and even won a Nobel Prize in medicine for its safety, efficacy, and versatility.
State Senator Rusty Crowe of Johnson City, TN, said of the bill,
“Ivermectin is one of the many therapeutic options like vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and anti-virals that have proven to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19. This bill will provide for a safe and effective way for patients to quickly access ivermectin over the counter and under the supervision of their pharmacists and the physician with whom the pharmacists have their collaborative agreement.”
Naysayers would argue that Ivermectin has not “proven to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19,” and that this is a dangerous move by state legislature. And while the Left will probably never accept any evidence proving its efficacy because they are more committed to their narrative than to the truth, there is certainly anecdotal evidence of it being beneficial. Various high-profile individuals (like Joe Rogan) were prescribed Ivermectin as a treatment for their COVID infection, from which they recovered quickly, and entire countries whose citizens take Ivermectin for other health issues saw a less-severe response to the COVID pandemic, indicating a possible benefit against COVID.
While we heard so much from the Left about things like masks and lockdowns being worth it “if it saves even one life,” the same was apparently not true of Ivermectin, and many point to the obvious political and financial motivation behind that. With brand new vaccines being developed, people noticed the potential financial motivation to discredit an extreme cheap and widely available drug so that a much more expensive brand new vaccine could receive emergency use authorization (not permissible when there are other viable treatments available) and subsequently make certain companies billions of dollars.
28 states currently have legislation proposed or passed to increase public access to Ivermectin, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards.
“Twenty-eight states have bills that would either restrict medical boards’ authority to discipline clinicians who prescribe the unproven COVID-19 treatment, allow off-label use of the medication or both. Many of these states are concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast. The legislation reflects growing political pressure to restrict boards’ authority to penalize physicians over health misinformation.”
This concept of “health misinformation” is actually a fairly hot topic in the medical community these days, as the Federation of State Medical Boards announced in July of 2021,
“Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license…[Physicians] must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven.”
Many providers took issue with the fact that they were being expected to treat their patients based on “consensus-driven” information, and would potentially be penalized for sharing information that they believed, in their professional medical opinion, to be “factual” and “scientifically grounded.” It was obvious that the “consensus-driven” part was deemed to be most important, and some providers felt that was not in the best interest of their patients.
I suspect time will reveal major issues and inconsistencies in what was deemed “consensus-driven” and what was deemed “medical misinformation.” The question is, how many Americans (and global citizens) suffered or died unnecessarily because of narrative-driven medicine?