Ivermectin ‘Safe,’ ‘Effective’ COVID Treatment: WSJ Op-Ed

A Wall Street Journal op-ed claims the FDA is “attacking a safe, effective drug,” ivermectin, even though the FDA itself certified the medication in 1996.

QUICK FACTS:
  • David Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and was senior health economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. Charles Hooper is president of Objective Insights, a consulting firm with pharmaceutical clients.
  • Henderson and Hooper wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stating that ivermectin is “a promising Covid treatment and prophylaxis”—meaning ivermectin improves recovery from COVID and prevents against infection—even though the FDA “is denigrating it.”
  • “Any reader would think the FDA was warning against poison pills,” say Henderson and Hooper, but “In fact, the drug is FDA-approved as a safe and effective antiparasitic.”
WHAT THE FDA HAS SAID ABOUT IVERMECTIN:
  • The FDA said earlier this year in a special warning that “you should not use ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19,” note Henderson and Hooper.
  • The statement included words and phrases such as “serious harm,” “hospitalized,” “dangerous,” “very dangerous,” “seizures,” “coma and even death,” and “highly toxic.”
WHAT HENDERSON AND HOOPER SAY:
  • “If the FDA were driven by science and evidence, it would give an emergency-use authorization for ivermectin for Covid-19. Instead, the FDA asserts without evidence that ivermectin is dangerous.”
  • “At the bottom of the FDA’s warning against ivermectin is this statement: ‘Meanwhile, effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 continue to be to wear your mask, stay at least 6 feet from others who don’t live with you, wash hands frequently, and avoid crowds.’ Is this based on the kinds of double-blind studies that the FDA requires for drug approvals? No.”
ABOUT IVERMECTIN:
  • Ivermectin was developed and marketed by Merck & Co.
  • William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering and developing avermectin.
  • Campbell and his team modified avermectin to create ivermectin.
  • Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
  • A group of 10 doctors calling themselves the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance have said ivermectin is “one of the safest, low-cost, and widely available drugs in the history of medicine.”
  • “Ivermectin fights 21 viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19.”
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IVERMECTIN AGAINST COVID?:
  • “A single dose reduced the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in cells by 99.8% in 24 hours and 99.98% in 48 hours, according to a June 2020 study published in the journal Antiviral Research.”
  • Ivermectin-treated patients tested negative in four days instead of 15, as with the control group.
  • Ivermectin-treated patients also stayed in the hospital nine days on average instead of 15.
  • Ivermectin patients experienced 13.3% mortality compared with 24.5% in the control group.
HOW SAFE IS IVERMECTIN?:
  • “Some 70 clinical trials are evaluating the use of ivermectin for treating Covid-19. The statistically significant evidence suggests that it is safe and works for both treating and preventing the disease,” state Henderson and Hooper.
  • “In 115 patients with Covid-19 who received a single dose of ivermectin, none developed pneumonia or cardiovascular complications.”
  • One study showed that ivermectin has been used safely in pregnant women, children, and infants.
IVERMECTIN PREVENTS INFECTION:
  • A 2020 Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications publication looked at what happened after ivermectin was given to family members of confirmed COVID patients.
  • “Less than 8% became infected, versus 58.4% of those untreated.”
  • Among 200 healthcare workers and others at high risk of exposure, only 2% of those given ivermectin developed Covid-19. But 10% of the control group did.”