House Bill (HB) 631, sponsored by State Representative Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander), named the COVID-19 Health Care Professional-Patient Relationship Protection Act, aims to protect the use of doctor-patient relationships in Ohio by codifying the authority for healthcare professionals to administer alternative drug therapies for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or one of its variants.
“Under this bill, the following drug therapies shall be permitted for use as requested by patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or a variant and when deemed appropriate for use by that patient’s medical professional,” Jordan said.
The bill would permit Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, Ivermectin, Budesonide, and other therapeutics proven effective or deemed beneficial for the treatment of COVID-19 or its variants.
“Respecting the authority and judgment of Ohio’s medical community is paramount. This bill achieves this by limiting unnecessary state interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” Jordan said.
Fred Wagshul, a cardiovascular and pulmonary disease specialist in Dayton, is a vocal proponent of treating COVID-19 with ivermectin and other alternative therapies. Wagshul is also a founding member of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, or FLCCCA, a nonprofit organization formed during the pandemic made up of physicians who don’t agree with some of the state and federal government’s COVID guidance.
According to its website, the alliance is “dedicated to developing highly effective treatment protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to improve the outcomes for patients ill with the disease.”
The group reviews published medical literature helps develop effective treatment protocols, and educates physicians on emerging treatment options for Covid-19 patients. The alliance takes a pro-ivermectin stance and provides guides on how to get an ivermectin prescription, and encourages people to take preventive doses of the drug and to wear masks.
“We regard ivermectin as a core medication in the prevention and treatment,” of Covid-19 the website states.
According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), currently available data does not show that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19, and taking large doses can be dangerous.
“The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in people or animals. Ivermectin has not been shown to be safe or effective for these indications. Even the levels of ivermectin for approved human uses can interact with other medications, like blood thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma, and even death,” the FDA says.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the effective treatments for COVID-19 are Nirmatrelvir with Ritonavir, Remdesivir, Bebtelovimab, and Molnupiravir. They caution against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital setting and maintain that the best preventative measure is vaccination.
Jordan, however, contends that medical professionals have shown the therapies outlined in his bill to be clinically effective, yet remain “unavailable to patients who may benefit from them because of unnecessary government intervention and red tape,” he said.
Under Jordan’s bill, Ohio’s boards and health departments would be required to increase the distribution of the drugs to pharmacies and healthcare professionals and are outlawed from suppressing or reprimanding the use of them as COVID-19 treatments.
Seven additional Republican lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill. Jordan has also introduced legislation in opposition to mandatory vaccinations and other COVID-19-related orders.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to hannahpolingre[email protected]
Photo “Kris Jordan” by Kris Jordan. Background Photo “Ivermectin” by Bundesministerium für Finanzen. CC BY 2.0.