A new bill by the New Hampshire House of Representatives seeks to make this possible. The Republican-sponsored House Bill (HB) 1022, which aims to make ivermectin available over the counter (OTC), passed last March 16 in a 183-159 vote. Following its passing in the lower chamber, HB 1022 was sent to the New Hampshire Senate for review.
In a January 2022 legislative hearing, GOP State Rep. Jim Kofalt noted ivermectin's good safety profile and the fact that it is available as an OTC drug in 79 countries. Meanwhile, GOP State Rep. Leah Cushman pointed out that making ivermectin easier to obtain through pharmacies is "safer than having to go to the farm store."
"We still have patients who don't know how to find the doctors who will write prescriptions for ivermectin," said Cushman, who is also a nurse. (Related: New Hampshire seeks to make ivermectin available as an alternative COVID treatment.)
On the other hand, Democratic Rep. Gary Woods voiced out his disagreement with the proposal. "I don't think the [New Hampshire] legislature should be practicing medicine, which is basically what this is," said the retired doctor and former president of the New Hampshire Medical Society.
An article about HB 1022 by the Portsmouth Herald proceeded to paint ivermectin in a negative light. "During the pandemic, vaccine skeptics and anti-vaccine activists have latched onto ivermectin – though it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19, nor is there evidence to support that it can treat the virus," wrote Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio.
He added: "Supporters of [HB 1022] said granting broad access to ivermectin, which is available OTC in some countries and also used in veterinary medicine, will allow individuals to make medical choices denied to them by the medical establishment."
HB 1022 followed a legal opinion issued by Nebraska Attorney General (AG) Doug Peterson in October 2021. The Cornhusker State's top attorney remarked then that he will not punish doctors who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as off-label medicines to treat COVID-19.
In a legal opinion published Oct. 14, 2021, Peterson said: "The available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or HCQ to prevent or treat COVID-19. Allowing physicians to consider these early treatments will free them to evaluate additional tools that could save lives, keep patients out of the hospital and provide relief for our already-strained health care system."
The top attorney's opinion came as a response to Dannette Smith, the chief executive officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. She asked whether it was "deemed unlawful, or otherwise subject to discipline" for doctors to prescribe off-label medications such as ivermectin and HCQ for COVID-19, to which Peterson answered in the negative.
Despite this, the Nebraska AG pointed out that health care providers may still be subjected to disciplinary action if they "neglect to obtain informed consent, deceive their patients, prescribe excessively high doses, fail to check for contraindications or engage in other misconduct."
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Louis Safranek welcomed Peterson's guidance. The physician has helped countless COVID-19 patients toward recovery with the use of ivermectin. "I'm happy to have the AG's backing in my attempts to use the drug for the benefit of my COVID-19 patients," he said.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based doctor added: "I haven't focused on the legality of it. I focused on the possible benefits that [ivermectin] might have for my patients, many of whom are quite ill with COVID-19. I've been comfortable using it for patients. I think it's helped, and I've had basically no reports of any side effects with it."
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Watch the testimony below of a British woman who recovered from COVID-19 – thanks to her husband who smuggled ivermectin using a chocolate bar.
This video is from the Heaven Reigns channel on Brighteon.com.