Tennessee Senate Passes Bill Allowing Sale of Over-the-Counter Ivermectin

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NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – A local lawmaker has co-sponsored a bill that would allow ivermectin to be sold without a prescription in Tennessee. The bill co-sponsored by Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 2188 was introduced by Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) on Jan. 31. Crowe became one of the co-sponsors of the bill as it passed through Senate committees. It passed the Senate with a vote of 23 to 6.

The bill would allow “ivermectin suitable for human use” to be sold or purchased as an over-the-counter drug in Tennessee without a prescription. Pharmacists and other licensed healthcare providers would also not be required to provide pre-sale consultation.

“Sales will be in accordance with each pharmacist’s physician collaborative agreement and procedures to be developed by the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy,” a statement from the Senate Republican Caucus reads in reference to the bill’s passage through the Senate.

The release states that under the bill, any pharmacist or prescriber who acts in good faith would be immune from disciplinary action or civil liability related to the sale of ivermectin.

“Ivermectin is one of many treatment options like vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and antivirals that have been shown to be effective in treating COVID-19,” Crowe said in the statement. “This bill will provide patients with a safe and effective way to quickly access ivermectin over the counter and under the supervision of their pharmacists and the physician with whom the pharmacists have their collaborative agreement.”

the The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised against using ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. According to the FDA, ivermectin tablets have been approved “in very specific doses” for the treatment of certain parasitic worms, as well as a topical formula for head lice and certain skin conditions. However, the FDA reports data does not suggest ivermectin is effective against COVID-19with trials related to its use as a treatment still ongoing.

The FDA has warned that taking high doses of ivermectin is, in fact, dangerous. Additionally, the FDA warns anyone against taking drugs intended for animals because the products differ.

In a March 30 article, ABC News reported on a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. This study found that ivermectin did not reduce the risk of hospitalization with COVID-19.

The study was based on 1,300 patients, some of whom received ivermectin and others a placebo. Ultimately, the study concluded that there was no difference in risk of hospitalization between the two groups.

In the Senate Republican Caucus statement, Crowe and Niceley said ivermectin is effective.

“Ivermectin is cheap, safe and effective,” Niceley said. “This bill allows the pharmacist to prescribe the right dose according to the patient’s condition and takes into account the patient’s pre-existing conditions and the medications they are currently taking. I sincerely hope that this bill can be useful to the people we all represent.

The House version of the bill was scheduled for consideration on Thursday

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