For decades Big Pharma co-opted physicians to prescribe their products over those from competitors. The biggest winnings came when a new patent drug had no competition. And of course, when the patents run out, the generics take over the supply. With the Covid pandemonia, a new dynamic arose to protect vaccine profits against anti-viral generic drugs, especially HCQ and Ivermectin. Daniel Horowitz explains at Blaze Media Louisiana AG Jeff Landry warns pharmacies against blocking COVID treatment. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
“Never have pharmacists been allowed to practice medicine and get between a doctor and his patient,” stated Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in an interview with TheBlaze. “Most certainly not in middle of a pandemic.”
State attorney general might not be the elected position that comes to mind when assessing the pandemic response, but Landry believes that his counterparts in other states have a vital role to play in ensuring that pharmacies, medical boards, and licensing boards are following the laws. Earlier this month, Landry became the first attorney general to publicly warn pharmacists against blocking COVID-related prescriptions, particularly for ivermectin.
His letter was in response to an August memo from the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy titled, “Do not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”
In the letter to the board, Landry notes that the FDA has given clear guidance that physicians can always prescribe off-label FDA-approved drugs “when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.” In fact, the FDA has made it clear that there is a particularly strong rationale for prescribing off label if there is no “approved drug to treat your disease or medical condition.” In this case, we are in middle of the pandemic, and pharmacy and licensing boards are not offering patients any other options for treatment of inflammation and thrombosis, two of the main COVID ailments for which there are numerous therapeutics that have been proven effective.
Landry also cites the Louisiana Medical Practice Act, which clearly precludes pharmacists from actively diagnosing and practicing medicine, something many of them have done by asking doctors for a diagnosis before filling the prescription. “Upon reviewing this act, I find nothing that would allow the board to second guess the sound medical judgement of a physician when it comes to prescribing legal drugs to their patients, nor do I see anything that allows pharmacists generally to object to off-label use of FDA approved drugs,” warned the conservative stalwart.
Landry believes that fighting back against woke censorship of lifesaving prescriptions is important to preserving health and freedom. “What’s always been great about American health care is that we allowed our doctors to practice their trade freely and do what’s best for their patients. What’s happening now is that big chain pharmacies are making the determination of whether to treat this virus. That was never, ever the job of the pharmacist.
After verifying it’s a legitimate prescription by a licensed doctor, they no longer have any license to do anything but fill the prescription.”
Unfortunately, with the higher viral loads of the virus in recent months, patients have precious few days to obtain a prescription before potentially facing the dangerous cytokine storm that causes the pulmonary inflammation.
Doctors in all 50 states have reported problems getting prescriptions filled for their patients.
“It’s not just ivermectin,” warned Dr. Mollie James, a Missouri ICU doctor, in an interview with TheBlaze. “I’ve had patients refused for any reason. Pharmacists have told them the scripts were ‘flagged’ as for COVID and ‘kicked out’ all of the scripts. I’ve had pharmacists refuse to fill an antibiotic for someone because they ‘think we’re using it to treat COVID.'”
In Louisiana, the board has updated its guidance in response to Landry’s inquiry and has stated that the board has no policy regarding ivermectin. “As a reminder, pharmacists have the right to exercise discretion when presented with any prescription, including ivermectin,” wrote Malcolm Broussard, executive director of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, in a follow-up memo.
However, that sounds like they are still winking and nodding at policies percolating throughout the big pharmacy chains to obstruct as many prescriptions as possible, as I’m hearing from desperate patients throughout the country. Also, with the war on supply making the product more scarce, the price is rising well beyond what a generic, off-patent drug should cost. With insurance companies balking at ivermectin prescriptions, many people cannot afford the cost if they are forced to go to a smaller pharmacy that will gouge them.
For his part, Landry is monitoring the war on treatment for legal violations across the spectrum of health care in his state, which includes medical boards that are threatening doctors who are treating COVID. “We absolutely are monitoring both the medical board and licensing board for malicious prosecution beyond their purview because I believe that government actors who engage in that behavior are engaging in malfeasance,” he said.