Drug News

COVID-19: Ivermectin Demand Soars as Pharmacists Call For a Halt

Telehealth sites are one of numerous online providers that have moved to capitalize on the surge in demand for Ivermectin as Covid-19 cases rise across the US. According to a report by Beckers hospital review , three prominent medical groups — the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists — on Sept. 1 voiced their opposition to the ordering, prescribing and dispensing of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 outside of clinical trials.

Ivermectin is most often used to treat parasitic worms in animals. It isn’t an antiviral and the FDA has warned against using it to treat COVID-19, but some physicians have been prescribing it to treat the disease.

Outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin has increased to levels 24 times higher than before the pandemic, according to the groups’ statement. They also noted calls to poison control centers have increased to levels five times higher than before the pandemic because of ivermectin ingestion.

“We are urging physicians, pharmacists, and other prescribers — trusted healthcare professionals in their communities — to warn patients against the use of ivermectin outside of FDA-approved indications and guidance, whether intended for use in humans or animals, as well as purchasing ivermectin from online stores,” the statement read. “Veterinary forms of this medication are highly concentrated for large animals and pose a significant toxicity risk for humans.”

The groups’ call to end experimental ivermectin usage for COVID-19 outside clinical trials aligns with similar warnings from the FDA, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health and Merck, the drug’s manufacturer. All entities have stated that there is not sufficient evidence to support the drug’s use to treat COVID-19.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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