Nebraska’s chief legal officer says doctors can prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19 without fear
On October 14, 2021, Nebraska’s Attorney General, Doug Peterson, issued an opinion on the “Prescription of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine as Off-Label Medicines for the Prevention or Treatment of Covid-19.” The opinion was requested by the head of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, Dannette Smith.
Ultimately, the AG found “the available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.”
He qualifies this opinion by saying if healthcare providers “neglect to obtain informed consent, deceive their patients, prescribe excessively high doses, fail to check for contraindications, or engage in other misconduct,” — in other words, things no good doctor should do — they might be subject to discipline.
That makes sense.
Peterson further stated that, based on the existing medical literature, his office did not “find clear and convincing evidence that a physician who prescribes ivermectin for COVID-19 after obtaining informed consent engages in unprofessional conduct.”
To support this opinion, Peterson took a deep dive into the available evidence on the two medications. His findings speak for themselves: “some data suggest that ivermectin- or hydroxychloroquine-based early treatments of COVID-19 can be effective in thwarting hospitalization and death.”
So, is ivermectin safe?
In response to the many controversial media reports suggesting ivermectin could be unsafe, AG Peterson discovered what’s been known for decades: “the data show not only that the adverse side effects [of ivermectin] are minor, but also that the percentage of people who report experiencing any adverse events is vanishingly small.” He cites statistics from the World Health Organization’s VigiAccess database that show only 5,769 adverse reactions associated with the drug since 1992. Ivermectin was first used in 1988 and almost 4 billion doses have been administered since then.
Let’s put that number in perspective. Peterson notes that remdesivir, an FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19, has racked up more adverse events than ivermectin in a fraction of the time. “Remdesivir was not released for widespread use until 2020,” says Peterson. “Yet in the short period of time that it has been on the market, people have reported at least 7,491 adverse drug reactions on VigiAccess, more than ivermectin has registered over the last 30 years.” Since Peterson’s opinion was published in October 2021, another 350 adverse reactions to remdesivir have been logged.
The real message on ivermectin public health agencies don’t promote
Despite the data showing early treatments like ivermectin are both safe and effective, healthcare providers who choose to use it have been vilified, punished and even stripped of their ability to treat patients. Hospitals and health systems have hidden behind government edicts, saying doctors must follow guidance from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But what do those agencies actually say? Peterson’s report analyzed each stance in detail. What he found was far less damning than the public messaging we’ve been fed. His findings:
The NIH has adopted a neutral position, claiming insufficient evidence to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin as a COVID treatment. “By making a neutral recommendation,” Peterson says, “the NIH clearly signaled that physicians should use their discretion in deciding whether to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the NIH, told CNN “there is no clinical evidence” that ivermectin works, in direct contradiction of the NIH’s own recognition that “several randomized trials… published in peer-reviewed journals” have reported data indicating that ivermectin is effective as a COVID-19 treatment.
Peterson points out that the FDA “appears to recognize that doctors may prescribe it for COVID-19.” He notes a change on the FDA’s website in September 2021, on a page entitled, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin.” That page previously stated “[i]f you have a prescription for ivermectin for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed.” That same sentence now omits the limitation on prescriptions to FDA-approved uses. It says that “[i]f your health care provider writes you an ivermectin prescription, fill it through a legitimate source such as a pharmacy, and take it exactly as prescribed.” The Attorney-General notes that “this change implicitly acknowledges that ivermectin may be prescribed off-label for COVID-19.”
Peterson also takes a look at a statement released by Merck, the original patent holder on ivermectin, which points to “[a] concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies” on ivermectin and COVID-19. Why, Peterson asks, would Merck “go out of its way to question this medicine by creating the impression that it might not be safe?” This is particularly perplexing considering those who discovered this ‘wonder drug’ won a Nobel Prize in 2015.
Here the AG offers two possible reasons: “First, ivermectin is no longer under patent, so Merck does not profit from it anymore. That likely explains why Merck declined to “conduct clinical trials'' on ivermectin and COVID-19 when given the chance. Second, Merck has a significant financial interest in the medical profession rejecting ivermectin as an early treatment for COVID-19.” If low-cost ivermectin works as well or better than molnupiravir, Merck’s experimental COVID-19 treatment, Peterson points out it could “cost Merck billions of dollars.”
In concluding his review, Peterson showed ivermectin can be effective in preventing and treating COVID-19, and that its side effects are primarily minor and transient.
“Allowing physicians to consider these early treatments,” he says, “will free them to evaluate additional tools that could save lives, keep patients out of the hospital, and provide relief for our already strained healthcare system.”
How you can help your state leaders to follow the example of AG Peterson
State attorneys general play an important role in guarding the public interest. Please consider sending a polite request to your AG asking them to allow doctors in your state to prescribe early treatment protocols without fear of unwarranted disciplinary actions from activist hospital and medical administrators. You can find information and resources about your state or territorial attorney general here. In the letter you can highlight the opinion that was issued in Nebraska and ask for a similar investigation in your state. You should send the same letter to your Governor (directory) and to the head of your state’s department of public health (directory).
We recommend writing something like:
I write out of concern that health agencies and institutions in [INSERT YOUR STATE] might interfere with a physician’s ability to prevent and treat COVID-19 using safe and effective protocols. Evidence and experience have shown that early intervention of COVID-19 with numerous, FDA-approved medicines have proven to reduce hospitalizations, and have saved thousands of lives.
As the Attorney General of Nebraska, Doug Peterson, demonstrated in his opinion issued October 14, 2021 entitled Prescription of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine as Off-Label Medicines for the Prevention or Treatment of Covid-19, “the available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.”
I kindly request that you, as the top legal officer in [INSERT YOUR STATE], follow AG Peterson’s example in issuing an opinion on the legality of prescribing safe and effective treatments for COVID-19.
It is my hope that after you look at the evidence on the available COVID-19 treatments, you come to a similar conclusion as AG Peterson who finds that: “Allowing physicians to consider these early treatments will free them to evaluate additional tools that could save lives, keep patients out of the hospital, and provide relief for our already strained healthcare system.”
[Your name here]
Thank you for doing all you can to #LetDoctorsBeDoctors.
Thank you FLCCC for providing this overview of the AG Peterson’s opinion and the suggested writing to our local state AGs. BRAVO!!!
Great Work. Hopefully it will roll on from here. Wish we could get in Australia!