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New Hampshire Pharmacies Could Soon Dispense Ivermectin Without Doctor Approval

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/19/2022 Zoe Strozewski
Close-up of text reading Ivermectin on a container of veterinary medication, Lafayette, California, September, 2021. © Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images Close-up of text reading Ivermectin on a container of veterinary medication, Lafayette, California, September, 2021.

New Hampshire residents may soon be able to receive ivermectin from pharmacies without first getting a prescription or approval from a doctor.

Proposed legislation titled House Bill 1022 would allow pharmacists to dispense the drug, which some believe can treat COVID-19 even though it lacks approval for such use from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), by means of standing orders.

Under the law, pharmacists would be able to "dispense ivermectin under the delegated prescriptive authority of the physician or APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses), specify a mechanism to document screening performed and the prescription in the patient's medical record, and include a plan for evaluating and treating adverse events," according to the bill.

"Any such prescription shall be regarded as being issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice."

The pharmacist would also be required to provide any patients who receive ivermectin with a "standardized information sheet written in plain language" that provides health care referral information and notes the importance of follow-up care.

"Nothing on the information sheet shall discourage the recipient from using ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19," the bill read.

According to the legislation, the measure would take effect 60 days after it was passed.

The FDA has not approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in both humans and animals, according to its website. It is, however, "approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea."

The agency said that while clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of ivermectin against COVID-19 were taking place, current data does not indicate that is the case. It also said that taking large doses of the drug is dangerous, and instructed anyone who receives an ivermectin prescription to "fill it through a legitimate source such as a pharmacy, and take it exactly as prescribed."

Video: What is ‘flurona’ and should you be worried? A doctor breaks it down (Yahoo! News)

But some are pushing back against the legislation, including Jeffrey Poirier, whose Twitter bio says he is a registered pharmacist in New Hampshire.

"This goes against the recs of NHSHP (New Hampshire Society of Health-System Pharmacists), the FDA & the CDC. Desperation is pervasive, even in the face of the advice against it from our pharmacy leaders," he wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

A number of medical experts testified in opposition to the bill during a legislative session on Tuesday.

"I'd like to believe the standard of care here in New Hampshire is that a patient could get a prescription for ivermectin, off-label, as long as that patient ideally gets put into some clinical trial, whether it's a drug company or whether it's an academic institution like Dartmouth," Dr. Nick Perencevich, a retired general surgeon, said during his testimony.

The legislation is currently in committee, but the New Hampshire House of Representatives is slated to vote on it in the coming weeks, WMUR reported.

Newsweek has reached out to state Rep. Leah Cushman, a sponsor of the bill, for comment.

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