EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was addressed to Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips.
We are writing regarding the recently issued statement by the LDH Office of Public Health regarding Ivermectin and its use in COVID-19.
We want to express our alarm and concern at this attempt by the LDH to limit a physician’s prescribing privileges. Licensed prescribers often utilize FDA approved medications off-label. By restricting lies solely with licensed medical prescribers, not the LDH.
Ivermectin is a well-known FDA approved, inexpensive medication that has been used to treat well over 4 billion humans of all ages, worldwide, over a 40 year time period. It ranks at the top of the WHO’s list of essential medications, with a well documented, unparalleled safety profile. In 2015, Ivermectin won the Nobel Prize for its historic global impact in eradicating parasitic infections in many parts of the world.
Ivermectin’s broad mechanisms of action against SARS CoV2 were recently documented and published in the journal of Antibiotics on June 15, 2021. Per published evidenced-based research, Ivermectin has a highly potent ability to inhibit SARS-CoV2 replication, as well as suppress inflammation.
Dr. Peter McCullough explains, “The SARS-CoV2 virus spreading across the world has led to surges of COVID-19 illness, hospitalizations, and death. The complex and multifaceted pathophysiology of life-threatening COVID-19 illness including viral mediated organ damage, cytokine storm and thrombosis warrants early interventions to address all components of the devastating illness.” Patients will have the best chance of therapeutic gain when treated before there is significant progression of disease. Observations suggest a majority of hospitalizations could be avoided with a first treat-at-home strategy with appropriate telemedicine monitoring and access to oxygen and therapeutics (Argenziano et al., 2020; McCullough et al., 2020b; Rhodes et al., 2017)
Ivermectin is currently prescribed daily with FDA approval for the treatment of parasitic infections. The dosing for early treatment of COVID-19 falls within these same safe, established dosing parameters. We now have well over 60 plus concluded trials that focused on Ivermectin in COVID-19 treatment. Safe utilization of Ivermectin for patients with COVID-19 is well documented and established in literature. (See attached links regarding the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.)
While the FDA has not approved Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, the NIH recommendation for its use is currently neutral, “neither for or against.” Ivermectin remains an important medication utilized in early sequential multi-drug treatment, and its continued availability is imperative.
Our goal is to ensure that we are utilizing all available, safe, and effective tools to decrease severity of disease. Early treatments has been shown to decrease mortality, decrease the development of chronic morbidity, and greatly decrease the rate of COVID hospital admissions, which in turn decreases the strain on both our healthcare system and professionals. our continued focus is to ensure that our prescribing providers have every necessary tool available to them, as they strive to effectively and safely treat their patients.
Rep. Beryl Amedee (District 51)
Rep. Kathy Edmonston (District 88)
Rep. Valerie Hodges (District 54)
Rep. Dodie Horton (District 9)