Ivermectin treatment was associated with lower mortality during treatment of COVID-19, especially in patients with severe lung involvement. Without indisputable evidence that ivermectin is safe and effective for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, hospitals are likely to continue to deny patients access to the drug. Lawyers for the patient, Leslie Pai, claim that hospital staff misinterpreted the prescribed dosage and that her medical history does not indicate a significant drop in her heart rate. She sued Norton Brownsboro Hospital after it allegedly refused to administer the treatment to Lonnie Underwood, 58, without a court order and without the supervision of a doctor with the authority to do so.
Hospitals could be forced to choose between defying a court order or administering an inappropriate drug, potentially exposing themselves to liability if patients have adverse reactions. Jeffrey Smith of Hamilton, Ohio, tested positive for Covid-19 on 9 July and was admitted to West Chester Township Hospital on 15 July, according to the lawsuit his wife, Julie Smith, filed against the hospital. Wagshul provided a prescription for ivermectin, doing so without having seen Smith and despite lacking medical privileges at West Chester Hospital, court records say. A local hospital is standing firm in the face of a lobbying campaign allegedly backed by QAnon, the network known for perpetuating conspiracy theories.
Still, some are demanding that hospitals administer the controversial drug and are taking their demands to court. He is not certified within any specialty and has not worked in a hospital in 10 years, according to his own testimony. Hospitals that administer inappropriate drugs could also risk losing their standing with private accreditation organisations, warn some industry observers. In an email to Reuters, a TGA spokesman said there was no evidence that Australian hospitals treated COVID-19 patients with ivermectin and pointed to an agency statement from September.
Ralph Lorigo, chairman of the Erie County Conservative Party, has successfully sued in New York, Illinois and Ohio to force hospitals to provide ivermectin to COVID-19 patients. Affidavits filed by hospital lawyers claimed Pai's condition did not improve with treatment, and that after one dose his pulse dropped to 28 beats per minute, forcing ICU staff to administer norepinephrine, the Tribune reported. Growing pressure from COVID-19 patients and their families seeking unapproved treatments puts hospitals in a legal quandary. Claims on social media that Australian hospitals are treating COVID-19 vaccinated patients with the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin are false, a spokesman for the country's therapeutics regulatory agency has told Reuters.
The hospital sent a statement to the Tribune, saying that while the staff sympathises with Pai and his family, the staff "does not support or recommend the administration of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19".