Statewide Iowa — A bill that’s cleared a House subcommittee would let Iowa doctors prescribe a medication used to treat parasites as an experimental treatment for COVID patients on a ventilator.
Republican Representative Lee Hein of Montezuma says he sponsored the bill after learning two families wanted Ivermectin used as a last resort treatment for a critically ill relative, but hospital policies prevented it. Both patients died of COVID.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Ivermectin tablets as treatment for worms in humans, but the agency says currently available data does not indicate Ivermectin is effective in treating or preventing COVID. Representative Ann Meyer, a Republican from Fort Dodge who’s a nurse, says Ivermectin has been around for many years and the bill would allow what’s called “off-label” use of the drug for COVID patients on life support.
Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, says a number of medical groups sent lobbyists to merely monitor subcommittee discussion of the bill.
Mascher opposed the bill in subcommittee, but with the support of two Republicans on the panel, the legislation is now eligible for debate in a House Committee.