Courts decide whether hospitals can deny ivermectin

Hospitals are finding themselves in court over their decision to deny giving COVID-19 patients ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug the FDA has warned against using to treat COVID-19.

Five things to know:

1. As of mid-August, prescriptions for ivermectin have climbed to more than 88,000 per week, up from a pre-pandemic average of 3,600 per week, according to CDC data

2. Despite federal warnings, some physicians are prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients. However, not all hospitals agree with physicians' prescriptions and are refusing to administer the drug, prompting patient lawsuits.

3. In Springfield, Ill., Memorial Medical Center won a court order to deny administering ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator, according to an Aug. 31 report in The State Journal-Register. A judge sided with Memorial Medical Center, which argued that ivermectin is an unproven treatment for COVID-19 and is potentially unsafe.

4. However, a court ordered a different Illinois hospital to administer the drug to a COVID-19 patient. Elmhurst (Ill.) Hospital administered ivermectin to a comatose COVID-19 patient May 3 after a judge's order. The patient eventually was weaned off a ventilator, according to the Journal-Register

5. A judge also ordered West Chester (Ohio) Hospital on Aug. 23 to administer the drug to a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit, according to the Ohio Capital Journal. The hospital will need to provide the patient with 30 milligrams of ivermectin each day for three weeks.

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