FDA Takes Down Controversial Ivermectin Posts After Settlement

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Regulators had agreed to remove the viral posts as part of a settlement in a case brought by doctors.

Social media posts urging people not to take ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 have been taken down by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA removed posts from X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn that stated: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously y’all. Stop it.”

The posts had remained up even after the regulatory agency agreed to take them down as part of a settlement in a legal case brought by doctors who said the posts wrongly interfered with their practice of medicine.

The March 21 settlement said the FDA would take down specific posts within 21 days. The posts were made in August 2021.

The FDA has also deleted the following posts:

  • An Aug. 21, 2021, Instagram post that said: “You are not a horse. Stop it with the #ivermectin. It’s not authorized for treating #COVID.”
  • An April 26, 2022, Twitter post that said: “Hold your horses ya’ll. Ivermectin may be trending, but it still isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19.”

The posts directed people to an FDA webpage titled, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” The page itself acknowledged that the FDA has approved ivermectin for some uses but said “taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous” and “currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.”

The agency pointed to a database of clinical trials testing ivermectin against COVID-19; some of the trials showed the drug works against the illness.

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Doctors commonly prescribe FDA-approved drugs for a range of purposes, including some outside the scope of approval. The practice is known as off-label prescription.

The FDA’s ivermectin posts gained tremendous traction across social media and news outlets, prompting internal excitement, emails obtained by The Epoch Times showed. Millions of people saw the posts. “That was great! Even I saw it!” Dr. Janet Woodcock, the agency’s acting commissioner at the time, said in one missive.

The FDA has not alerted its followers on social media that it removed the posts.

Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, one of the doctors who sued the agency in 2022, celebrated the development.

The case “sets an important legal precedent which should deter them from attempting this stunt again anytime soon,” she wrote on X. In another post, she said that “the terms we were asking for were met when we agreed to settle” and “we were not optimistic about what we would get in discovery.”

But while the posts and page have been removed, the FDA has created a new page about ivermectin and COVID-19.

Published on April 5, it states: “One of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s jobs is to carefully evaluate the scientific data on a drug to be sure that it is both safe and effective for a particular use. There continues to be interest in a drug called ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans. The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.”

The page repeats the statement that “the FDA has determined that currently available clinical trial data do not demonstrate that ivermectin is effective against COVID 19 in humans,” but lacks the link to the database showing mixed results from trials.

The page also says that “health care professionals may choose to prescribe or use an approved human drug for an unapproved use when they judge that the unapproved use is medically appropriate for an individual patient.”

An FDA spokesperson previously told The Epoch Times that the settlement was not an admission of a violation of law or any other wrongdoing.

“FDA has not changed its position that currently available clinical trial data do not demonstrate that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19,“ the spokesperson said. ”The agency has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19.”

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