Indiana Considering Approving Ivermectin To Treat Covid

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An Indiana lawmaker wants to block the state’s health care providers from discouraging the use of anti-parasite medicine ivermectin to treat COVID-19, a controversial treatment that has been rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Under House Bill 1372, a doctor or advanced practice registered nurse could write a standing order for ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, that would allow pharmacists to dispense the drug. The legislation also stipulates that the pharmacist must not provide information that discourages using ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

The FDA says ivermectin should never be used to treat or prevent COVID-19, and that incorrect use has required some patients to seek medical treatment.

“Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19,” the FDA says on its website.

Dr. Elizabeth Struble, president of the Indiana State Medical Association, said in an emailed statement that she found the proposed legislation concerning.

“A health care provider prescribing an unproven therapy can be dangerous for the health of Hoosiers,” Struble said. “What’s even more dangerous is legislating the creation of a very broad, standing-order mechanism so pharmacists can freely dispense an unproven therapy.”

Some people who have been unable to get a prescription for ivermectin have opted for a form of the medicine designed for horses and cows rather than humans. Republican Rep. Curt Nisly, the bill’s author, says making ivermectin manufactured for human use available would increase safety.

“The risks are low and the potential gains are high,” Nisly said. “Hoosiers should be able to care for their health safely and effectively.”