USA Today: Lawmakers push legislation to protect doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19

UC legal expert weighs in on move

USA Today reports that at least 26 states have proposed or passed legislation that would increase patient access to the invermectin, a drug some individuals have asked to be used to treat COVID-19, though its effectiveness remains under debate.

Many of the legislative bills who protect physicians who prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19 against disciplinary action from state medical boards and hospitals.

According to the U.S. Food Drug and Administration website, the agency FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea, according to the FDA..

Jennifer Bard, PhD

Jennifer Bard, PhD

The Federation of State Medical Boards has opposed any legislation intended to limit a state board’s ability to protect patients, but legal experts says states do have the final authority on who can practice medicine and how.  Jennifer Bard, PhD, professor in UC’s Colleges of Law and Medicine, shared her thoughts.

“Health and safety is within the states’ power unless the federal government uses authority … to step in,” said Bard, who was quoted by USA Today. “States are doing what they can do within their authority to remove whatever concerns physicians might have prescribing these drugs.”

Making invermectin available over-the-counter may, however be a step too far for the authority of legislators. “There’s an internal process for the FDA to change the label,” Bard told USA Today. “The FDA could make something over-the-counter, but only they can do that.”

Read the full USA Today story online.

Featured photo courtesy of Unsplash.