A legal battle between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and three doctors who accuse the agency of impeding their right to prescribe ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment was in court this week.
According to Epoch Times, at the Aug. 8 hearing, the federal government’s lawyers made an important admission: Doctors have the right to treat Covid with Ivermectin.
Ashley Cheung Honold, a lawyer representing the FDA, stated on the record that the agency recognizes doctors’ authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat Covid.
Three medical doctors — Drs. Paul Marik, Mary Bowden, and Robert Apter — contend that the FDA repeatedly cautioned and even ordered doctors in 2021 to not prescribe Ivermectin for Covid. The doctors initially filed the case in 2022, but a federal judge dismissed it, which has led to the appeal in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Many doctors across the country have lost their licenses or been dismissed from their practices for prescribing Ivermectin. Dr. Meryl J. Nass had her license suspended by a licensing board in Maine after she prescribed Ivermectin via telemedicine. A Florida doctor was fired from a Florida hospital board meeting for testifying that Ivermectin was effective against Covid. Across the country, doctors are now in fear of the government.
“The fundamental issue in this case is straightforward. After the FDA approves the human drug for sale, does it then have the authority to interfere with how that drug is used within the doctor-patient relationship? The answer is no,” argued Jared Kelson, the attorney representing the doctors, according to the report by Epoch Times.
The crux of the legal argument centers on whether the FDA’s statements constitute medical advice and whether they overstepped the agency’s authority in regulating approved drugs. The FDA’s Aug. 21, 2021 posted on X, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” was admitted as evidence in the trial. The tweet contained a link to an FDA page advising against using ivermectin for Covid.
In another posting, the FDA wrote that Ivermectin “isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19,” and “Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19? A: No.”
The FDA’s lawyer stated to the judge that the FDA’s statements were responses to incidents of consumers being hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for animals. However, the doctors’ lawyer argued that the FDA’s role is to provide information on adverse drug reactions, not medical advice.
Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, part of the panel of judges hearing the appeal, questioned whether the FDA’s tweet “No, stop it” was a command.
Honold, on behalf of the FDA, described these statements as “merely quips” and explained that they did not prohibit doctors from prescribing ivermectin.
“Can you answer the question, please? Is that a command, ‘Stop it’?” Judge Elrod asked Honold.
“In some contexts, those words could be construed as a command,” Honold said, as reported by the Epoch Times. “But in this context, where FDA was simply using these words in the context of a quippy tweet meant to share its informational article, those statements do not rise to the level of a command.”
The official statement clearing the air on whether the FDA can direct doctors on the matter was then uttered:
“FDA is clearly acknowledging that doctors have the authority to prescribe human ivermectin to treat Covid. So they are not interfering with the authority of doctors to prescribe drugs or to practice medicine,” Honold said.