Lawmakers to discuss bill to allow off-label use of drugs to treat COVID

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State lawmakers will meet on Monday to discuss a Invoice that would allow doctors and patients to treat COVID with drugs approved by the FDA, but used off-label.

These include hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, which infectious disease physicians say are not effective against covid.

Darla Smith of York County tested positive for COVID about a month ago, as did her husband Keith.

“We both did teleconsultations with US primary care physicians and we both had ivermectin scripts approved, but it never happened in the mail,” Smith said.

Ivermectin is a drug that many infectious disease doctors say is not effective against COVID.

“What we often find are people taking ivermectin instead of these proven treatments, and it’s dangerous because we know vaccines save lives. We know monoclonal antibodies save lives. Ivermectin has none of these benefits, ”said Dr. Amesh Adalja, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Pittsburgh-based infectious disease physician.

Keith ended up at the UPMC Memorial where the doctors did not give him ivermectin. After going to court, a judge ordered the hospital to administer the drug, even though he had been on a ventilator for two weeks already.

“If you had no responsibility and they didn’t, why would you block him? Smith said. “It’s not going to hurt him. It is one of the safest drugs in the world. Why not? It is a Hail Mary.

This is one of the reasons Representative Dawn Keefer introduced a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe and require pharmacists to dispense drugs, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, with patient consent, for use at the start of covid therapy.

“Yeah. I’m 100% for that, yeah. It would have saved my husband’s life if we had had this sooner, it would have been, he’s still alive now, but the prognosis isn’t. not good, ”Smith said.

Adalja says studies with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine show no benefit.

“There is no strong evidence that ivermectin is a treatment for COVID 19. Several studies have been done. “Those who seem to show an advantage had been flawed or hadn’t really been extrapolated to the general population,” Adalja said.

That is why he will testify against the bill.

“I think it amounts to malpractice when you turn a patient away from something that has been proven to work into something that isn’t going to help them. And I think that’s what we need to make that distinction, ”Adalja said. “There are doctors who do things that don’t make sense from a medical-scientific point of view.”

In a statement, Keefer said, “FDA treatments for Covid-19 are limited for both inpatients and outpatients, so why are we taking something off the table? Worse yet, it’s been almost 2 years and STILL no outpatient treatment exists for people who test positive? Monoclonal therapy is rationed only for people deemed “vulnerable”. Doctors around the world and the United States have successfully used a multitude of reused drugs to treat patients with covid-19. Why do we obstruct and demonize drugs, like ivermectin, which is a Nobel Prize winning drug that’s on the NIH Website – Table 2e – Characteristics of Antiviral Agents Approved or Under Evaluation for the Treatment of Covid-19

She went on to say, “I’m not advocating any particular drug; I defend the rights of patients and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.

The Pennsylvania home health committee meets Monday morning at 9 a.m. at the state capitol.

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