By Robert G. Marshall ( bio – articles – email ) | | Catholic Culture
Bob Marshall’s co-author for this analysis is Bernard Pegis, MD, a board-certified family practice physician who practices in Front Royal, Virginia. Dr. Pegis is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and St. Louis University School of Medicine.
Efforts are underway to curtail availability of a highly effective and safe treatment for Covid-19. The American Medical Association (which represents only 12% of practicing physicians and receives more money from the federal government than from its waning membership dues) and two national pharmacy associations (which receive corporate support from Covid-19 “vaccine” manufacturers, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson) have decided Ivermectin should not be used to treat this virus despite widespread successful treatment with this drug (discovered in the late 1970’s and used in humans since 1988).
Ivermectin is currently available over the counter in many countries. If American drugstores implement this dangerous policy, many lives will be lost.
Restriction of life-saving prescriptions
In a press release on September 1, 2021 the AMA, the American Pharmacists Association, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, stated that they:
strongly oppose the ordering, prescribing, or dispensing of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial. …We are alarmed by reports that outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin have increased 24-fold since before the pandemic and increased exponentially over the past few months.
The significant increase in Ivermectin use is most likely due to physicians successfully treating patients rather than waiting for the illness to progress to the point where drug therapy is useless and patients are hospitalized and/or intubated.
The AMA, APHA, and the ASHP also noted that:
we are urging physicians, pharmacists, and other prescribers—trusted health care professionals in their communities—to warn patients against the use of ivermectin outside of FDA-approved indications and guidance.
Prescribing an FDA approved drug for a purpose other than the one it was initially licensed for is a common and legal practice called “off-label” use. Off-label prescriptions currently range from roughly twenty to forty-five percent of all prescriptions written.
Off-label prescribing is even officially endorsed by the AMA. In 2020 official AMA Policy stated:
Our AMA confirms its strong support for the autonomous clinical decision-making authority of a physician and that a physician may lawfully use an FDA approved drug product or medical device for an off-label indication when such use is based upon sound scientific evidence or sound medical opinion.
In April, 2020, the AMA, APHA, and the ASHP issued a slightly nuanced statement concerning off-label prescriptions for Covid-19 uses:
We are aware that some physicians and others are prescribing or dispensing medications currently identified as potential treatments or prophylaxis for COVID-19…. Novel off-label use of FDA-approved medications is a matter for the physician’s or other prescriber’s professional judgment.… If a prescription is not for a legitimate medical purpose, it should not be written, and it should not be dispensed.
Now, in what appears to be an unprecedented reversal, these same professional organizations are strongly urging Ivermectin not be used at all to treat Covid-19, to perhaps encourage greater use of mRNA vaccines. None of these organizations had previously required or even recommended clinical trials for using other drugs “off-label.”
Off-Label prescriptions helps patients
If we follow the AMA’s “Ivermectin” advice and do not prescribe some medications because the FDA hasn’t “approved” them for certain conditions, then all American physicians should immediately stop prescribing:
- generic buproprion for smoking cessation (only the name brand has been FDA approved)
- tegretol for mood stabilization
- clonidine for narcotic withdrawal and ADHD
- minipress for nightmares, PTSD and Raynauds
- magnesium sulfate for premature labor and preeclampsia
- gabapentin for neuropathic pain
- dexamethasone for premature labor (for lung maturation)
- namenda for OCD
- colchicine for pericarditis
- ativan for chemotherapy induced nausea
- amitriptyline for fibromyalgia
- trazodone for insomnia
That, obviously, won’t (and shouldn’t) happen.
Of course, using any medication should always be a partnership between the physician and the patient, involving negotiation to improve the patient’s health outcome, and this includes off-label drug use. Informed consent requires the patient be told that a drug approved by the FDA for one condition can be helpful for other conditions based on medical experience, and sound clinical judgment.
In 2013, when treatments were sought for MERS, this allowance and understanding of the risk/benefit ratio was accepted and promoted by none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci when he stated, “If a physician is faced with a very sick person with MERS, they at least now have an option—a combination of drugs that has been used on many, many patients—even though the scientific evidence is small [for its effectiveness].” That same day he said, “But if I were a doctor with MERS patients, and I had nothing else to give them, I wouldn’t hesitate. If someone has advanced disease, there’s 50 percent mortality.”
With respect to Ivermectin, we do not claim that the evidence is completely certain and beyond question or that the risks are zero, only that the potential benefits are great and the medication is indisputably safe. For this reason, observational studies (for example) under the circumstances as Dr. Fauci concluded, may be sufficient to justify trying this medication rather than requiring perfect evidence for its use.
Except for controlled substances, doctors may legally prescribe “off-label” any drug that in their clinical judgment might help any patient’s condition. This is why we have human physicians, not protocols, robots or artificial intelligence guiding medical judgment. The venerable and ancient Hippocratic Oath, which the American Medical Association abandoned to accommodate the legal destruction of children before their birth, recognized that the practice of medicine is both an art and a science. Regrettably, the AMA has lost that moral perspective.
Unjustified opposition to Ivermectin
Jesus was severely criticized for healing a blind man on the Sabbath (John 9:13-30). Today, practicing physicians who save lives using drug therapy are ostracized. Mainstream medicine appears to be rejecting efforts to combat Covid-19 with drugs in favor of experimental mRNA “vaccines.”
The FDA under federal law may only issue an Emergency Use Authorization “in an emergency…when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.” The presence of safe and effective “alternatives” to “vaccines” obviates the need for them.
There are (as of the date of this article) 121 studies and 65 controlled studies collated at https://c19ivermectin.com/ which clearly show the benefit of Ivermectin in prevention (14 trials showing 86% improvement), early treatment (66% improvement in 29 trials), late treatment (40% improvement in 22 trials) and mortality (57% improvement) with COVID-19. Further, there are 32 randomized controlled trials which show a 58% improvement with Ivermectin use.
Despite the hysterical claims from the AMA and pharmacy groups, the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin is attested to by physicians who treat Covid patients. These doctors, who call themselves the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, insist Ivermectin is “one of the safest, low-cost, and widely available drugs in the history of medicine.”
The Critical Care Alliance points to a safety review of “over 350 articles on the medical safety profile of ivermectin…which reported that ‘No safety concern…would prevent health authorities from assessing the use of Ivermectin against COVID-19.’”
The Critical Care Alliance also points to an efficacy study of Ivermectin from June 17, 2021:
Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.
Dr. Peter A. McCullough—an internist, cardiologist, and teaching physician at Texas A&M College of Medicine in Dallas with over 45 Covid medical publications—agrees, noting that based on his experience and that of other treating physicians, 85% of Covid cases are treatable at home and can avoid hospitalization and death. Is not saving lives and restoring health the purpose of medicine? So why is it improper to use off-label an FDA approved legal drug to restore health or save lives?
The Children’s Health Defense concluded that the FDA purposely ignored Ivermectin:
How could FDA not have reviewed data on ivermectin during an entire year after it was informed about this use…during which dozens of studies about the drug’s use were available…ivermectin has been used OTC for COVID in many countries and regions with excellent reported treatment success. The drug’s safety has been established with at least a billion doses used, and the drug is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential drugs.
Many medical professionals suspect FDA’s feigned ignorance about the drug was a prerequisite to issuing EUAs for COVID vaccines, given the EUA requirement that no approved drug may be available for the same indication.
Fake news and patronizing lectures
False narratives promoted to discredit Ivermectin have backfired and have produced embarrassing gaffes for the establishment media. A false report from Oklahoma spread by The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Hill and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, claimed that Oklahoma hospitals, “are being overrun by people overdosing on the horse anti-parasitic ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.” Another news story quoted a Dr. McElyea as stating, “The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated.” But administrators for the Northeastern Health System disputed that claim, noting that Sequoia hospital
has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care.
The public policies endorsed by the American Medical Association include supporting the infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states via surgical or chemical techniques; opposing laws banning partial birth abortion; supporting the use of tissues from aborted children for human experimentation and research; opposing the recently passed Texas law banning abortions after the detection of a preborn child’s heartbeat; filing suit against North Dakota’s passage of two laws restricting abortion; and, asking the Supreme Court to strike down a Trump Administration rule preventing tax funded clinics from referring women for abortions.
Other controversial AMA policies include: providing hormones and surgery to young teens to change their biological identity; claiming it is unethical for doctors to refer patients to chiropractors; and, effectively restricting membership to whites only (founded in 1847, the AMA finally apologized for its racial exclusions in 2008). Finally, the AMA supports nationwide mandates to compel Christians to take abortion-linked Covid vaccines in violation of their consciences.
How can the AMA be trusted?
If the AMA and pharmacy association policies succeed in barring Americans from obtaining prescription Ivermectin to treat Covid-19, this wedge they will be driving between doctor and patient may lead to a dangerous spike in use of OTC Ivermectin prepared for animal use. Blocking Ivermectin prescriptions which save lives will only lead to more deaths which will be used to sound the alarm for more and more vaccine mandates, including mandated boosters every few months!
Interestingly, if the AMA and pharmacy groups had tried to suppress Ivermectin in India, the organizations would have been sued. The Indian Bar Association is suing the chief scientist for the World Health Organization for her efforts at:
Running a disinformation campaign against Ivermectin by deliberate suppression of effectiveness of drug Ivermectin as prophylaxis and for treatment of COVID-19, despite the existence of large amounts of clinical data compiled and presented by esteemed, highly qualified, experienced medical doctors and scientists.…
Americans who are reluctant to take Covid-19 “vaccines” should not be treated with disdain, or threats of non-treatment by doctors or hospitals.
Interestingly, a May, 2021 survey by Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health demonstrated widespread distrust of national medical authorities in the United States:
Fewer than four in ten adults report having a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the National Institutes of Health (37%), the Food and Drug Administration (37%), the National Academy of Medicine (34%), and the federal Department of Health and Human Services (33%), when it comes to recommendations made to improve health.
Similarly, a July, 2021 Rasmussen survey found that “32% of American adults believe public health officials are lying about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Forty-eight percent (48%) don’t think so, while 20% are not sure.”
Efforts by public and professional medical and pharmaceutical groups to deny Americans health-preserving and life-saving drugs do not improve trust in professional medical organizations or the so-called health “experts.”
What to do
Christians who oppose abortion and want their conscience rights respected and protected must remain vigilant to ensure they are able to obtain drugs like Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for early Covid-19 treatment, since these drugs are most effective before the disease progresses to more serious stages, and so prevent hospitalization. Interestingly, even the Centers for Disease Control apparently agrees that Ivermectin is safe for people, as demonstrated by their recommendation that “all Middle Eastern, Asian, North African, Latin American, and Caribbean refugees should receive presumptive therapy”, which includes Ivermectin, either prior to departure to the United States or upon arrival, depending on the country of origin and the presence of intestinal parasites or the disease, Loa Loa. Notice that the CDC made no hysterical claims that refugees were being treated with horse medicine!
Recommendations: To protect your own health and that of your loved ones, we recommend finding out if your pharmacy will fill prescriptions for Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine to provide early or prophylactic treatment of Covid 19. The same questions should be asked of your physician. It makes good sense to hold businesses accountable by switching away from those that disregard the conscience rights and health of their customers in this matter. You can also check the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance to learn how and where you can obtain Ivermectin. Finally, to protect others, let your family, friends and neighbors know what you learn.
Bob Marshall served 26 years in the Virginia House of Delegates and was the chief House sponsor of the 2006 voter-approved Virginia Marriage Amendment and a ban on late term abortion. He recently wrote Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America (TAN Books). Previously, he co-authored Blessed are the Barren, a social history of Planned Parenthood (Ignatius Press). Finally, don’t miss Bob’s Civics Lesson for Catholics in the Catholic Culture Podcast Episode 17. See the full bio.