- Demand for the unproven COVID-19 treatment ivermectin has skyrocketed recently.
- A group founded by a Capitol riot defendant is prescribing the drug and charging $90 for the consultation.
- The FDA does not recommend ivermectin for COVID-19, saying it has not reviewed evidence that would support its use.
America’s Frontline Doctors, whose founder, Dr. Simone Gold, has been charged in the Capitol riot, is offering up $90
consultations in order to prescribe unproven treatments for COVID-19, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
On the group’s website, a page for “COVID-19 medication” walks through the process for getting your hands on a prescription.
“Click on the contact a physician button below. Fill out the form and pay $90. The physician will call you typically within 2-7 days,” the page says, adding that you will then be able to pay for the medication and have it sent right to your door through Ravkoo Pharmacy, a digital pharmacy company.
The page directs you to the website SpeakWithAnMD.com to book your consultation. Upon filling out the form, a prompt asks you to select the COVID-19 treatment medication you are interested in, ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, though it says what you are prescribed will depend on your consultation with one of their doctors.
As of Thursday night, selecting ivermectin gave the following message: “Unfortunately due to the national shortage of Ivermectin, at the current time ivermectin is unavailable for treatment,” adding that hydroxychloroquine was an “alternative option.”
Neither medication has been approved as treatment for COVID-19, but both have been promoted against the recommendations of public health officials. Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug commonly used to treat worms in horses and cows, is the latest bogus treatment to take hold in some online circles.
The Food and Drug Administration said last week it had received reports about patients who were hospitalized after “self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses,” urging people to stop.
But ivermectin can also be prescribed to humans in some cases, which is how America’s Frontline Doctors is able to write prescriptions for the drug. The FDA said that while research into the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment is underway, it has not reviewed data that would support its use. The FDA also noted the medications intended for animals are different than those taken by humans.
Still, ivermectin has garnered a lot of support in anti-vax online communities, NBC News reported. Some Facebook groups promoting the drug have gained tens of thousands of members.
The CDC issued an emergency health advisory on Thursday warning that there has been a “rapid increase” in ivermectin prescriptions as well as reports of people becoming ill after using some ivermectin products to prevent or treat COVID-19. The agency said calls to poison control centers reporting overdoses of the drug were also on the rise.
America’s Frontline Doctors was founded last year by Dr. Simone Gold, who has downplayed COVID-19, criticized the vaccine, and spread other falsehoods about the virus.
Gold was charged with violent entry and being on restricted grounds during the Capitol riot on January 6. She confirmed to The Washington Post that she was in the building but said that where she was, it “was not a riot.”