Hundreds and thousands of people around the world, including the US are acquiring Ivermectin and taking it to treat COVID. In Louisiana, for example, which is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, a local Louisiana news outlet reported that doctors are seeing patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 who say they took horse ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
Like many myths about COVID-19 drugs, the idea that ivermectin is a viable treatment didn’t appear out of thin air. The claim grew from shaky scientific evidence and was perpetuated by seemingly authoritative figures with an agenda. There was even an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Why Is the FDA Attacking a Safe, Effective Drug?”; tellingly, the op-ed was co-written by a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a right-leaning, pro-free market think tank, and a pharmaceutical industry consultant who previously worked for the company that developed and marketed ivermectin.
Shortly after publication of this op-ed, the Wall Street Journal issued a correction, noting that one of the authors’ primary pieces of cited evidence, an Egyptian study on ivermectin and COVID-19, was retracted due to charges of data manipulation. Despite this, the Wall Street Journal hasn’t retracted their op-ed; and despite both the retracted cited study and the authors’ clear agenda, the op-ed continues to circulate widely online as “evidence” that ivermectin is an effective COVID-19 treatment being suppressed by the FDA.
The aforementioned retracted Egyptian study of 200 people was first published on the Research Square website, a platform where scientific studies are submitted before they are peer-reviewed and accepted by a journal. It was the biggest study of its kind at the time to suggest any evidence of the effectiveness of ivermectin.
Still, one retracted study does not mean that ivermectin is necessarily ineffective. Hence, scientists have not abandoned their study of ivermectin’s efficacy to treat COVID-19; clinical trials like the National Institute of Health’s Activ-6 study and UK’s PRINCIPLE outpatient trial are evaluating whether ivermectin, and other repurposed medications, can treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in patients who have had fewer than seven days of symptoms.
Aside from the retracted Egyptian study, and the Activ-6 study currently in progress, is there any other scientific evidence that ivermectin is a viable treatment for COVID-19?
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