In a lawsuit by three doctors accusing the FDA of interfering in their treatment of COVID-19 patients with ivermectin, a lawyer for the agency insisted that urging people to "stop" taking the medicine was merely an informal recommendation.
The fact that the "recommendation" – which included mocking the drug as "horse dewormer" – prompted hospitals and pharmacies to ban its use for COVID-19 doesn't mean the FDA bears any responsibility, contended Isaac Belfer in a hearing in federal court in Texas.
"The cited statements were not directives. They were not mandatory. They were recommendations. They said what parties should do," Belfer said Nov. 1, Epoch Times reported.
Attorneys for the physicians, who included Dr. Paul Marik, cited three online posts by the FDA, including a tweet, featuring a photo of a horse, saying: "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it."
The tweet linked to an FDA web page titled "Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19." On a separate page, the FDA stated: "Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19? A: No." A subsequent tweet said: "Hold your horses, y'all. Ivermectin may be trending, but it still isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19."
Ivermectin – which has been a safe and effective, Nobel-prize-winning, FDA-approved treatment for many diseases – can be prescribed for COVID-19 by a physician "off label," and 93 randomized controlled trials confirm the reported success of many physicians around the world.
The lawsuit charges the FDA interfered with the doctors’ practice of medicine, violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and other laws. It asks the court to prohibit the FDA from issuing guidance on whether ivermectin should be used to treat COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, a Trump appointee, has said he would rule "as quickly as we can for ya'll."
The FDA’s lawyers also pointed out that although the doctors bringing the case allege that the statements interfered with their ability to practice medicine, the doctors also said that they continued to prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19 patients despite the FDA’s online posts.
The FDA’s description in court of its posts as recommendations didn’t constitute a change in the administration’s position.
The FDA’s website still explains why people shouldn’t use ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and the National Institutes of Health recommends against its use for the disease, except for clinical trials.
FactChck added that "randomized clinical trials have repeatedly found that ivermectin does not benefit COVID-19 patients"-- something Moore will never tell his readers because he's too invested in the right-wing pro-ivermectin narrative. Indeed, that touting of "93 randomized controlled trials" comes from an anonymous website that, as we've noted, may be secretly run by the fringe-right, anti-vaxxer Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and there's arguably more quality research showing that ivermectin doesn't work to treat COVID.