USA Today via Yahoo News
Dozens of state lawmakers push bills that would make it easier for doctors to prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19, even though the anti-parasitic has not been proved effective at preventing or treating the disease.
As of Thursday, at least 26 states have proposed or passed legislation that would increase patient access to the drug, according to a database created by the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, said the bills “drive (him) nuts.”
“It’s just a serious intrusion into medical practice by people who aren’t doctors and don’t know medical practice,” Emanuel told USA TODAY. “It’s inevitable someone’s going to be harmed, and this is harmful to the country.”
Most of the bills attempt to protect doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19 against disciplinary action from state medical boards and hospitals. The Federation of State Medical Boards said in a statement sent to USA TODAY it opposes any legislation intended to limit a state board’s ability to protect patients.
“It sets a dangerous precedent and puts the public at risk,” the federation said. “State legislatures are encouraged to work with their state medical boards to uphold existing statutory authority to respond to complaints about the quality of care provided and take disciplinary action against physicians when necessary to protect the public.”
Other proposed bills seek to make ivermectin available over the counter or by standing order, prohibit pharmacists from refusing to refill ivermectin prescriptions or prohibit medical professionals from providing information that would discourage patients from taking ivermectin for COVID-19.