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Nebraska doctors legally able to prescribe controversial medications for COVID-19

KETV Omaha logo KETV Omaha 10/16/2021
nebraska doctors legally able to prescribe controversial medications © Provided by KETV Omaha nebraska doctors legally able to prescribe controversial medications

Attorney General Doug Peterson issued an official opinion on the controversial medications Friday.

Peterson's opinion comes after a request by Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dannette Smith.

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Smith asked the AG's office to take a closer look at whether doctors could face disciplinary or even legal action for prescribing hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin.

Doctors can legally prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine off-label for COVID-19 as long as their patients give informed consent.

In the 48 page document Peterson's office detailing research and data that suggests hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have minor or no side effects when treating COVID-19 patients.

"I haven't focused on the legality of it, I focused on the possible benefits that it might have for my patients, many of whom are quite ill with COVID," said Dr. Louis Safranek.

The AG's document details that there is evidence to suggest it might work for some people and he wants to leave it up to physicians.

Adding, "Allowing physicians to consider them could save lives and provide relief for our already strained health care system."

Some of the same research Dr. Louis Safranek said led him to prescribe it for his patients.

Despite the controversy surrounding the two drugs Dr. Safranek, specializing in infectious diseases, has continued to prescribe the deworming drug ivermectin. He said more than 500 of his patients have successfully overcame COVID-19 with its help.

"I've been comfortable using it for patients, I think it's helped. And I've had basically no reports of any side effects with it," said Dr. Safranek.

Dr. Safranek said his patients are proof; they have all survived COVID-19. He's hopeful the AG's opinion will open doors and free up hospital beds.

"I'm happy to have the attorney general's backing in my attempts to use the drug for the benefit of my COVID patients," Dr. Safranek said.

The AG's office said, "If physicians neglect to obtain consent, deceive or prescribe excessively high doses, they could be subject to discipline."

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