Oklahoma attorney general says there is “no legal bias” for giving ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to combat the virus.
Ivermectin has been touted by some doctors as being an effective treatment for the coronavirus even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved use of the drug for this purpose. Nevertheless, it has been prescribed by some practitioners for to treat symptoms and many are wondering if this is legal or ethical. Now, Oklahoma Attorney General (AG) John O’Connor has announced that his office found “no legal basis” for medical boards to discipline physicians for prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to combat the virus.
While the AG did not explicitly say that he was on board with its use, O’Connor added that his office “neither condones nor condemns a specific course of treatment for COVID-19. I stand behind doctors who believe it is in their patients’ best interests to receive ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.” This is a bold move in the long saga about whether the FDA should approve use of ivermectin to treat COVID symptoms. Currently, the drug is only authorized for use in curing head lice, roundworm infections and other parasitic conditions.
WebMD states, “This medication is used to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections. Curing parasitic infections helps to improve your quality of life. In people with weakened defense (immune) systems, curing roundworm infections can reduce the risk of developing a severe or life-threatening infection. Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs known as anti-helmintics. I t works by paralyzing and killing parasites.”
Recent data has shown that both commercial and Medicare Advantage insurance companies are spending an estimated $129.7 million annually on ivermectin prescriptions, according to a JAMA journal study. Researchers evaluated a sample of a prescription drug database from “December 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021” and ivermectin prescriptions for COVID-19 skyrocketed in the United States at the end of 2020. The team also discovered that patients without long-lasting coronavirus symptoms were receiving these prescriptions. This suggests that physicians are prescribing it despite lack of approval from regulators.
The team added, “Of the 5939 ivermectin prescriptions written in this sample, 348 (5.9%) were excluded. Of the remaining 5591 prescriptions, 4700 (84.1%) were for privately insured patients. The mean age of those patients was 51.8 years,” according to the study, which also found that the mean out-of-pocket spending on these prescriptions was “$22.48 for privately insured patients and $13.78 for Medicare Advantage patients. Mean insurer reimbursement was $35.75 and $39.13, respectively. Aggregate total spending was $273,681 for privately insured patients and $47,143 for Medicare Advantage patients, of which insurer reimbursement represented 61.4% and 74%, respectively.”
Because some individuals are buying the animal version and attempting to determine the right about for human consumption, the FDA has warned consumers to “never use medications intended for animals on yourself or other people. Animal ivermectin products are very different from those approved for humans. Use of animal ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans is dangerous.” It continues, “You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension, allergic reactions, dizziness, ataxia, seizures, coma and even death. “
Inmates of an Arkansas jail are also suing the jail and its doctor, alleging they were unknowingly given the drug to combat COVID-19. The lawsuit leans largely on the fact that this has not been approved.