FDA settles lawsuit over Ivermectin social media posts

The FDA has agreed to remove and never republish several social media posts suggesting that ivermectin, a drug some doctors used to treat COVID-19, is for animals and not humans.

Although the FDA still does not approve using ivermectin to treat COVID, it settled a lawsuit Thursday brought by three doctors who sued it, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services and its secretary, Xavier Becerra, and the secretary of the FDA, Robert Califf. All parties have been resolved.

The lawsuit, filed June 2, 2022, was filed by doctors Mary Talley Bowden, Paul Marik, and Robert Apter, each of whom claimed the FDA was interfering with their ability to practice medicine.

The case was initially dismissed on the grounds that the FDA had “sovereign immunity,” although a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision saying that “the FDA is not a doctor.”

The appeals court also said that “Even tweet-sized doses of personalized medical advice are beyond the FDA’s statutory authority.”

The FDA and doctors reached an agreement dated Thursday that stipulates the FDA will withdraw a consumer update titled “Why You Shouldn’t Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”

The FDA will also remove and no longer republish posts on Twitter (now X), LinkedIn and Facebook that say, “You’re not a horse. You’re not a cow. Seriously, everyone. Stop it.”

He will also delete and never repost an Instagram post that reads, “You’re not a horse. Stop it with #ivermectin. It’s not licensed to treat #COVID,” as well as a Twitter post that reads, ” Hold your horses, Ivermectin may be trending, but it is not licensed or approved to treat COVID-19.”

This issue was brought to the fore when podcaster Joe Rogan asked CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta about the former’s use of ivermectin, which CNN repeatedly referred to as “horse dewormer “.

“I can afford people’s medicine,” Rogan told Gupta three years ago. “That’s ridiculous. It’s just a lie.”

The FDA had already removed a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that was at issue in the lawsuit. The FDA said all postings and other materials will be removed within 21 days after which they will be archived, as required by law.

The FDA said Newsweek that “the agency has chosen to settle this lawsuit rather than continue to litigate over statements that are between two and nearly four years old.”

Close-up of text reading Ivermectin on a veterinary medicine container, Lafayette, California, September 2021. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

It added that “FDA has admitted no violation of the law or any wrongdoing, disagrees with the plaintiff’s contention that the agency exceeded its authority in issuing the statements challenged in the lawsuit, and maintains its authority to communicate with the public about the products.regulates.

Ivermectin has long been approved for both animal and human use. For the latter, a topical is used to treat problems related to lice and rosacea, while a lozenge is used for parasites, intestinal strongyloidiasis, and onchocerciasis.

On its website as of Friday, the FDA still does not recommend it for COVID and says large doses are dangerous and prescriptions should be filled by a pharmacy and taken exactly as prescribed.

AX, ivermectin advocates were taking a victory lap, with Bowden posting an image of a giant red X via one of the social media posts the FDA has agreed to take down.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a post viewed 280,000 times as of Friday afternoon, wrote in X: “Ivermectin is not an exceptional case. The FDA is biased against many natural, generic and /or low cost. with low profit potential. Could it be because half of their funding comes from Big Pharma?”

The FDA declined to respond to Kennedy’s claim, though it reiterated that it “has not changed its position that currently available clinical trial data do not demonstrate that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. The agency has not authorized or approved ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.”