A Nobel Prize and a horse dewormer: Explaining the controversy over ivermectin and COVID-19

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PolitiFact 08 September, 2021 - 01:36pm 38 views

Judge denies request for West Chester Hospital to treat COVID-19 patient with Ivermectin

WLWT 08 September, 2021 - 10:03pm

In an 11-page decision, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster Jr. wrote that there “was no doubt that the medical and scientific communities do not support the use of ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19.”

Based on the current evidence, Oster wrote, the drug — which is primarily used to deworm horses but has been promoted by some doctors, some Republicans and the popular podcast host Joe Rogan to combat the coronavirus — “is not an effective treatment for Covid-19.”

Oster cited advisories from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical associations that have warned against using the medication for Covid-19.

Oster also cited problems with research into using ivermectin to treat the disease, including the withdrawal of a non-peer-reviewed study from a website that posts academic pre-prints.

“While this court is sympathetic to the plaintiff and understands the idea of wanting to do anything to help her loved one, public policy should not and does not support allowing physicians to try ‘any’ type of treatment on human beings,” he wrote.

Jeffrey Smith, 51, tested positive for the virus on July 9 and was admitted to West Chester Hospital nearly a week later, according to court documents. He was intubated on Aug. 1, and by Aug. 19 his chances of survival had dipped below 30 percent.

Julie Smith demanded that the hospital administer ivermectin, but doctors refused. The medication had been prescribed by Dr. Fred Wagshul, a pulmonologist unaffiliated with West Chester who advocates for the use of ivermectin for Covid-19 and once told the Ohio Capital Journal that not using it was like “genocide.”

A different judge issued a temporary injunction Aug. 23, ordering doctors to begin administering the medication for two weeks.

Oster, who held two days of hearings last week, said Wagshul could not confirm in court whether the medication’s continued use would benefit Smith. Wagshul said Smith’s condition “seems to” have improved, Oster added.

In a statement, an attorney for Jeffrey Smith, Jonathan Davidson, said he was disappointed by Oster’s ruling.

“While he has likely received his last dose at UC West Chester hospital, we can only hope his condition continues to trend positively,” Davidson said, adding that his client’s condition had stabilized and is improving.

UC Health, which operates West Chester Hospital, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the decision was “positive.”

“We implore all members of the community to do what we know works: wear a mask, become fully vaccinated and use social distancing whenever possible,” Martin told the newspaper. “At UC Health, we respect the expertise of our clinicians and appreciate the scientific rigor used to develop treatments, medications and other therapies.

“We do not believe that hospitals or clinicians should be ordered to administer medications and/or therapies, especially unproven medications and/or therapies, against medical advice.”

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AMITA Hospital Targeted with ‘Hundreds' of Emails, Calls After Denying Patient Controversial Drug

NBC Chicago 08 September, 2021 - 05:00pm

AMITA Health confirmed that staff at Resurrection Medical Center in Norwood Park have received "hundreds of phone calls and emails associated with one patient's care."

That patient, according to her husband, is Veronica Wolski, whom Lawrence Wolski told NBC 5 is hospitalized with COVID-19.

Wolski is known for documenting her demonstrations on a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway on YouTube. She is vocal about her beliefs against the coronavirus vaccine and wearing masks.

"I have never once worn a mask. I have called the police on people that tried to make me wear masks," Wolski said in one of her videos.

According to her husband and supporters on various social media platforms, Wolski has requested to be treated with the controversial drug, ivermectin.

Ivermectin is a deworming drug mostly used in veterinary medicine, according to Chicago's top health official, Dr. Allison Arwady.

"I am a little surprised I guess that there are people who want to take a veterinary medicine that is not FDA approved, but then don’t want to take the vaccine that has had really widespread human trials and is approved," said Dr. Arwady.

Arwady warns the drug is leading to hospitalizations and not being used correctly.

"They’re taking doses that are dosed for horses or cows and we have seen people have liver problems, nausea, all kinds of issues," she said. "I want to be really, really, really clear that in no case should anybody try to take a veterinary formula ever of any medication."

The 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.

The FDA says taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous and clinical trials assessing the tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing.

The drug is at the center of a national debate and in a number of lawsuits, including in Springfield where a Sangamon County judge, last week, blocked a man from receiving ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

Ivermectin has been promoted by Republican lawmakers, conservative talk show hosts and some doctors, amplified via social media to millions of Americans who remain resistant to getting vaccinated. It has also been widely used in other countries, including India and Brazil.

Federal health officials have seen a surge in prescriptions this summer, accompanied by worrying increases in reported overdoses. The drug was even given to inmates at a jail in northwest Arkansas for COVID-19, despite federal warnings against that use.

Last week, podcaster Joe Rogan, who has been dismissive of the COVID-19 vaccine, announced he had tested positive for the virus and was taking the medication.

AMITA Health confirmed to NBC 5 it is not currently administering ivermectin and released the following statement in regards to Wolski's case.

"At AMITA Health, our first priority is the health and safety of our patients. Our physicians and clinicians follow the full guidance of the FDA and the CDC in the treatment of COVID-19. And while AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center has received hundreds of phone calls and emails associated with one patient’s care, we have simply and respectfully noted the concerns shared."

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