The FDA has settled a lawsuit brought by three doctors, agreeing to delete 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.




While the FDA still does not approve of using ivermectin to treat COVID, the settlement marks a significant development in the ongoing debate over the drug’s use. The lawsuit, filed by doctors Mary Talley Bowden, Paul Marik, and Robert Apter, claimed the FDA was interfering with their ability to practice medicine.  All three said their reputations were harmed by the FDA campaign. Bowden lost admitting privileges at a Texas hospital, the ruling noted. Marik alleged he lost his positions at a medical school and at a hospital for promoting the use of ivermectin.  The appeals court ruled that the FDA’s social media posts were beyond its statutory authority.

As part of the settlement, the FDA will retire a Consumer update titled “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19” and delete certain social media posts. The FDA has stated that it has chosen to resolve the lawsuit rather than continue litigation over statements that are between two and nearly four years old. However, the agency has not admitted any violation of law or wrongdoing and stands by its authority to communicate with the public regarding the products it regulates.

Ivermectin has been approved for use in both animals and humans for various conditions, but the FDA still does not recommend it for COVID-19, citing a lack of clinical trial data demonstrating its effectiveness against the virus. The issue gained attention when podcaster Joe Rogan criticized CNN for referring to the drug as a “horse dewormer.”


Proponents of ivermectin, including independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have criticized the FDA’s stance, suggesting bias against low-cost and generic therapies. However, the FDA maintains that it has not changed its position on ivermectin’s use in preventing or treating COVID-19.





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