Physicians Rights: Off Label Prescriptions of Ivermectin for Covid-19
Even in the year 2021 the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is reference to the off-label prescription options doctors have always had that are still controversial when it comes to the ongoing global Covid 19 pandemic. Off-label prescribing is when a physician gives a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than the one you’ve got. This practice is legal and even common. In fact, one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use.
Same But Different
Last year Dr. Goldstein discussed the controversy and government interference with how hydroxychloroquine, a common treatment for Malaria was prescribed off-label for patients suffering with Covid-19. Fast forward from September 2020 to October 2021 and the same thing is happening with a drug called Ivermectin, a drug that is approved for treatment of certain parasitic worm infestations, and its possible use as a treatment for Covid-19.
What is going on with this latest controversy?
Unfortunately, the controversy involves politics. The government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has tried to dictate what treatment should be used to treat Covid infections. In truth, the development of treatments should not be political and should be left to the medical profession. Government should limit itself to funding research and to providing additional equipment and hospital beds as needed. The CDC can be a clearinghouse to provide data to physicians and researchers about the pandemic. A classic comment sticks in my craw. During the Vice Presidential debate, Kamala Harris famously said if Donald Trump said to take the vaccine she would not. But if Joe Biden said to take it she would. Think about it. What does either man know about Kamala Harris to advise whether or not she should take the vaccine?
She should make the decision with the advice of her physician. The government does have a public health role to protect the public from getting infected but not a treatment role.
Is Ivermectin OK to Use?
There are studies that show Ivermectin has no anti-viral benefit, some that show it has those qualities for some diseases and others that show it is a miraculous treatment. So far there is no consensus among physicians about the utility of ivermectin. “My view is that doctors who suspect it to be of value should be allowed to study it,” Dr. Goldstein said. There are many examples from the history of medicine where an individual physician working alone has made a major breakthrough. Two examples come to mind: Dr. Simelweis saved the lives of numerous mothers by suggesting that OB doctors should wash their hands before delivering the baby. He was ridiculed by the medical establishment at the time as the germ theory of infections was not yet discovered. More recently 2 Australian doctors, Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren found that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria. “They also were ridiculed by the medical establishment until they won the Nobel prize,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Allow physicians to pursue different treatments for Covid. Stop politicizing the treatments and stop publishing premature articles in the press for or against any unproven treatment.”
With more much-needed insight is respected neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, Dr. Steven Goldstein on his regular podcast.
Click the link to listen: https://houstonhealthcareinitiative.libsyn.com/ivermectin-off-label-prescriptions-for-covid-19.