Ivermectin on its way to becoming available without prescription in Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -Ivermectin will soon be available for the treatment of COVID-19 without a prescription in Tennessee.
The state’s Senate and House leaders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill the final approval on the bill SB2188/HB2746.
The bill will allow a pharmacist to provide Ivermectin tablets to a patient in accordance with a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement containing a non-patient-specific prescriptive order, developed and executed by one or more authorized prescribers.
News 4′s Tosin Fakile talked to Hetal Patel, Pharmacist and Owner of Lebanon Family Pharmacy, who said once she can, she plans to make Ivermectin available at her pharmacy.
She says and the process with pharmacies will involve a number of steps.
“There’s going to be more steps involved in it. The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy is basically going to make the access like naloxone. It’s going to have a standing order protocol. You’ll have to counsel the patient,” said Patel. “It is going to be over the counter but it’s going to have a little more rules and regulations that are going to apply to it,” she added.
The Ivermectin bill will require the Board of Pharmacy (Board) to establish procedures for providing patients with a screening risk assessment tool, providing a standardized factsheet, and providing either ivermectin or a referral to a pharmacy that dispenses ivermectin.
Patel said she understands the move by state legislators.
“Which in one way is good because I’d rather have somebody come and talk to me about their medication than go and buy it at like a co-op store where they have no idea the kind of dosing you have to take,” Patel said.
Studies including one released in March 2022 by the New England Journal of Medicine showed it was unclear how effective ivermectin is when it comes to Covid19.
“As of yet, the amount of data that we have. It does feel like that the data is inconclusive and so we’re not able to say that ivermectin for sure helps in the treatment of covid-19,” said Dr. Parul Goyal, an Assistant professor in the Dept of Internal Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt is conducting an ivermectin treatment of covid 19 trial.
“So our trial is funded through the National Institutes of Health, in which we are aiming to study some of the repurposed medications for the treatment of outpatient COVID-19. The name of the trial is called active six, and we are essentially studying three medications. ivermectin, Fluticasone and fluvoxamine,” Dr. Goyal said.
The trial started enrolling patients in September of 2021.
“We’ve actually had great success in patient enrollment, and we’ve been able to complete two study arms in which the patient improvement was completed. However, we added another arm to the trial, in which we added ivermectin high dose to this study arm. So we have two arms that are still open and actively enrolling patients,” Dr. Goyal said
Giyal said ivermectin has been around for several years and is sold at places like tractor supply stores, usually meant for farm animals to treat them against parasitic infections. She said Ivermectin is available in other countries and is used o treat against parasitic infections in humans.
“The doses of Ivermectin are very different,” Goyal said.
Goyal said taking Ivermectin without supervision can be dangerous.
“There are lots of side effects of Ivermectin that are out there for patients who’ve taken them without supervision such as nausea, diarrhea, itching, eczema, swollen lymph glands, it stuff all of these side effects,” Dr. Goyal said.
“The reason why this [Ivermectin Bill] is okay to pass is because it comes to patient safety and people regardless of what they hear regardless of the studies that are in front of them, they’re not ready to believe that,” Patel said. “Where people will believe what they want to believe in. So instead of having people take whatever dose that they want to,” she added.
News 4 asked Dr. Goyal what her advice is to people as Ivermectin is on its way to not needing a prescription.
“Since the data on Ivermectin from our trial, is still pending you know, I would say that until we get scientific data to support the usage of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. I would be hesitant for anyone to take it without proper supervision,” Dr. Goyal said.
Goyal is also reminding people that there is approved medication for treating COVID-19 that is available.
The state legislature provides some protections for pharmacists. The bill says, “a pharmacist or prescriber acting in good faith is immune from disciplinary actions or civil liability.”
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