- An Ohio hospital was sued to force it to prescribe ivermectin for a COVID-19 patient in the ICU.
- But an appeal against the lawsuit was successful, allowing the hospital to cease using the drug.
- The news comes as Australia bans ivermectin treatment for COVID-19, and a person died in New Mexico after using the drug.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
An Ohio hospital has been given permission to cease the prescription of ivermectin after an August lawsuit forced them to administer the drug.
Ivermectin, a drug traditionally used to treat heartworm in horses and parasitic infections in humans, has become popularised for the treatment of COVID-19 by anti-vaxxers, despite a lack of evidence that it is a viable treatment.
On 23 August, Julie Smith successfully sued West Chester Hospital in Ohio forcing it to administer ivermectin to her husband, Jeffrey Smith, 51. He was being treated for COVID-19 in the ICU since July 15.
However, an Ohio judge has now overturned this ruling, allowing West Chester Hospital to continue to ban the use of ivermectin, court documents show.
The appeal has been overturned on the grounds that Fred Wagshul – a founder of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCCA), a group that has spread claims of ivermectin’s efficacy – who prescribed the drug to Smith. He did not qualify for practicing privileges at the hospital where Smith is being treated, the court heard.
The couple has not have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, telling the court that they did not trust it.
The appeal – and therefore the cancellation of the use of the drug – came after Mr Smith had been taking ivermectin for two weeks.
Julie Smith’s lawyer Ralph Lorigo, chairman of Erie County’s Conservative Party, also sued a number of hospitals to force them to prescribe the drug, including two hospitals in New York and one in Chicago, according to local news outlets Buffalo News and the Chicago Tribune.
On 8 September New Mexico’s acting secretary of health, David Scrase, said in a livestreamed COVID-19 update that his state had seen the first known death from covid related ivermectin poisoning, with another patient receiving treatment in intensive care.
The news comes as the Australian Government announces it will be banning the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment after prescriptions for the drug increased three-fold.
“Ivermectin is not approved for use in COVID-19 in Australia or in other developed countries, and its use by the general public for COVID-19 is currently strongly discouraged by the National COVID Clinical Evidence Taskforce, the World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Administration,” the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia’s medicine regulator, wrote in a statement.
“The doses of ivermectin that are being advocated for use in unreliable social media posts and other sources for COVID-19 are significantly higher than those approved and found safe for scabies or parasite treatment.
“These higher doses can be associated with serious adverse effects, including severe nausea, vomiting, dizziness, neurological effects such as dizziness, seizures, and coma,” the TGA added.
Merck, the manufacturer of ivermectin, has also warned against taking the drug.
It said, in a statement, that there was “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies; no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 disease; and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”
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