Washington state suspends a physician assistant for prescribing ivermectin

A lot of people are angry that more doctors aren't prescribing ivermectin when they first get diagnosed with COVID.  However, a Washington State physician assistant lost his license because he prescribed ivermectin.  Most doctors, having invested upwards of seven years of their lives in preparing to be a physician, don't want to destroy that career over a politically incorrect prescription.

Andrea Salcedo, who to my great surprise has degrees in journalism, is a terrible writer.  Nevertheless, she has a job at the Washington Post, from which platform she wrote a barely comprehensible article about a physician assistant named Scott C. Miller whose license the Washington Medical Commission suspended.  The article is framed to make it appear as though ivermectin will kill people.

If you wade through Salcedo's disordered, chaotic prose, you can discern a few points.  First, Salcedo makes sure everyone knows that ivermectin is a "deworming" or anti-parasite drug, although she concedes that it works on humans, too.  Second, Scott Miller believes in ivermectin.  Third, he prescribed it to some very sick people: a woman so ill she was dependent on oxygen used it but still died.  Another man's family, working with Miller, tried to get a hospital to prescribe ivermectin.  The hospital refused, and the man died.  And a third man who needed oxygen got a prescription of ivermectin from Miller, although it's not clear whether he used it.  The man later died.

All told, Miller had "more than a dozen complaints" made against him for prescribing ivermectin to people.  Some of the complaints revolved around the fact that he prescribed the medicine after speaking with people over the phone rather than examining them.  Of course, nowadays, that's become a standard of care.

If you read the Washington Medical Commission's press release about its decision to suspend Miller, the real anger seems to be that he dared to promote ivermectin at all — and that he was kind of aggressive and jerk-like about doing it.  What seems like the most serious allegation — that he lied about being under investigation in California — is a throwaway line:

WMC alleges PA Miller's treatment of COVID-19 patients fell below the standard of care. Miller began a public campaign promoting ivermectin as a curative for COVID-19, and prescribed it without adequate examination to at least one person, with no reliable clinical studies that establish its efficacy in preventing or treating COVID-19.

Allegations against Miller also include: interfering with the care of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, engaging in a hostile and and [sic] threatening public campaign against both hospitals and individual physicians regarding COVID-19 treatment; and lying on his initial licensing application by denying that he was under investigation by the State of California's Physician Assistant Board.

Certainly, Miller sees himself as an apostle of ivermectin.  Back to the WaPo article:

Miller, who obtained his state physician assistant license in 2013, has publicly rallied against masks. At a May school board meeting in Camas, Wash., a maskless Miller told the audience that he had written mask exemptions so his children could attend school without face coverings, the medical commission found. He also said they had traveled without wearing a mask at the airport or on the plane.

At that same meeting, Miller said he had treated 350 covid patients with ivermectin, vitamin C and vitamin D. "It actually cures, if anybody cared to look at the data," Miller said, according to the commission's report. 

In describing ivermectin, the WaPo article says only that it's a drug "long used to kill parasites in animals and humans" and is something that the FDA "and other public health agencies have urged people to refrain from taking the unproven treatment, warning it could be 'dangerous' and potentially fatal."

However, whether because Salcedo is uninformed, incurious, or biased (or all three), the article makes no mention of ivermectin's success in India.  One Indian study showed that "[t]wo-dose ivermectin prophylaxis at a dose of 300 μg/kg with a gap of 72 hours was associated with a 73% reduction of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers for the following month."  In Delhi, when people received early-intervention ivermectin, there was a 97% decrease in cases.

However, in America, the order is "no ivermectin" (and no hydroxychloroquine).  Moreover, no one has studied early intervention.  Instead, the minimal "studies" or anecdotal cases concern people who have already become extremely ill.

I'm neither recommending nor speaking out against ivermectin because I'm not a doctor.  I'm simply pointing out that the "premier" Washington Post is slinging word hash slamming ivermectin and anyone who dares use a medicine that has been safe and uncontroversial (even earning a Nobel prize) for fifty years.

No wonder people are paranoid about COVID, treatments, and the vaccine.  Our media are activists, not journalists.  Americans pay the price for this because doctors are too afraid to prescribe early treatment that both the patients and the doctors believe might work.

Image: Ivermectin tablet packaging by TajPharmaceuticalsLtd.  CC BY-SA 4.0.

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