The Washington Medical Commission is set to consider disciplinary actions on Tuesday against physicians who prescribe a powerful horse dewormer to fight COVID-19.
That this is even an issue reflects the craziness of pandemic quackery and the state of the medical profession. That’s why the regulatory body should act.
Since the early days of COVID, there have been two divergent responses. One embraces public health research and touts masks and vaccines. The other downplays the risks of infection and focuses on miracle cures. Former President Donald Trump was a proponent of the latter, hawking the magical properties of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with no known impact on COVID.
Now there is ivermectin, which is more commonly used to deworm horses and other large animals, but with a human-strength prescription for parasites and some skin conditions.
More than 88,000 ivermectin prescriptions were reported nationwide in the second week of August, an amount 24 times higher than the pre-pandemic figure, the Washington State Department of Health said in a news release.
No evidence has been found that the drug is effective in preventing or treating COVID-19.
Despite alerts and advice against ivermectin use for COVID-19 treatments from multiple health agencies, some doctors in the state have still prescribed the drug.
That got the attention of the Washington Medical Commission, which monitors and enforces licenses of the state’s 34,000 physicians and physician assistants.
The commission can take action including suspensions and revocations of a medical license if it determines a physician’s actions do not meet standards of care.
On Tuesday, the WMC will convene a special meeting to consider whether failure to meet these standards should include downplaying the importance of inoculations and prescribing ivermectin for COVID-related illness or prevention.
The language could be similar to the position taken by the Federation of State Medical Boards on the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and disinformation, said Stephanie Mason, the commission’s legislative liaison and spokesperson.
Doctors have a powerful position in society, wrote the FSMB board of directors in July: “Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.”
As of last week, the commission has received eight complaints of doctors prescribing ivermectin.
The commission’s webinar on Tuesday at 4 p.m. is open to the public, but there is no public comment period. Commissioners will consider the statement and then decide whether to approve it.
For the sake of gullible but likely unvaccinated patients, the health care profession, and the community ready to put this disaster of human suffering and economic hardship behind us, the commission should come down hard on ivermectin.
It’s time for this sideshow to end.