OMAHA, Nebraska. – Nebraska’s attorney general said on Friday that it will not seek disciplinary action against doctors prescribing controversial drugs for the treatment and prevention of coronavirus infections if they receive informed consent from patients and do not participate in them. misdemeanor.
Attorney General Doug Peterson’s office released a legal opinion saying there was no evidence to justify lawsuits against medical professionals prescribing ivermectin, a parasite drug that is decades old, or hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that the former president Donald Trump took to try and prevent COVID-19 infection.
“Based on the evidence that currently exists, the mere fact of administering ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 will not result in us taking disciplinary action,” the Republican Attorney General said.
Many health experts and leading medical groups have been trying to stop using both drugs, claiming they can cause harmful side effects and little evidence that they help. It’s also unclear if many doctors actually prescribe them in Nebraska or elsewhere, although a few isolated cases have cropped up nationwide.
In a joint statement last month, the American Medical Association, the American Association of Pharmacists and the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists said they strongly oppose the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 drug outside of clinical trials.
“We are alarmed by reports that the amount of prescription and dispensed ivermectins on an outpatient basis has increased 24 times since the pre-pandemic period and has increased exponentially over the past few months,” the groups said.
Ivermectin has been promoted by Republican lawmakers, conservative talk show hosts and some doctors, and has been distributed via social media to millions of Americans who do not want to get vaccinated. It is also widely used in other countries including India and Brazil.
Hydroxychloroquine has been similarly boosted despite warnings from the American Medical Association that the drug is an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment for the virus.
U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, a Republican and physician from Kansas, admitted that he took hydroxychloroquine throughout his 2020 campaign with his parents, siblings and wife, but he did not say how they got their recipes.
In Nebraska, the attorney general’s office said it does not recommend specific treatments for the virus and will continue to target doctors who do not obtain patient informed consent, prescribe excessive doses, or neglect to check what other medications a patient is taking. The opinion concerns only doctors prescribing drugs as a preventive measure and early treatment of outpatients.
“Allowing doctors to consider this early treatment will give them the opportunity to evaluate additional tools that can save lives, keep patients out of hospital and ease our already stressful healthcare system,” it said.
The opinion was received in response to a request from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, which issues licenses and disciplines doctors. The Attorney General’s Office files complaints on behalf of the public against health care providers who violate state rules and put their patients at risk, and the department has the power to suspend or revoke their licenses or take other action.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dunnett Smith said in her letter of inquiry that consumers and doctors have been inundated with information about COVID-19 treatments and “it can become difficult to determine the quality or accuracy of the information,” prompting questions about what doctors might register legally.
Peterson was first elected as attorney general in 2014 and unconditionally won re-election in 2018. He did not say publicly if he plans to run again next year.