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COVID-19 and Ivermectin Lawsuits

October 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the public health, ignited intense tribalism, and disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives, including the judicial and healthcare systems.

In the last few months, courts in several jurisdictions saw a string of lawsuits filed against hospitals by guardians of COVID-19 patients, who sought to force hospitals to administer the controversial drug ivermectin as part of their COVID-19 treatment protocol. The law firm that represented these plaintiffs indicated that many more lawsuits are in the works. 

While some have lauded ivermectin as a miracle drug, the scientific and medical communities oppose ivermectin’s off-label use to treat COVID-19 because the efficacy and safety of such use remain unclear. Ivermectin tablets are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans at very low doses to treat certain parasitic worms, but the FDA warns that ivermectin is not approved to treat COVID-19 and that larger doses “can be highly toxic” and even fatal for humans. For these reasons, many hospitals consider ivermectin outside of the medical standard of care and refuse to administer ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients.

Plaintiff guardians who believe they may be out of options have filed at least seven cases against such hospitals in various jurisdictions. In each case, the plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that the hospital must treat the respective patient with ivermectin for two reasons: (1) the hospital needs to comply with the patient’s ivermectin prescription and the appropriate standard of care; and (2) COVID-19 patients have a constitutional right of access to ivermectin.

While these cases have reached different outcomes, the better view is that courts should respect the standard of care for COVID-19 treatment developed by hospitals and healthcare providers, and they should recognize that there is no right to try ivermectin for this use.

Read the article here.

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