The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill that would make the antiparasitic drug ivermectin available over the counter.
Ivermectin is considered by some medical professionals to be an effective alternative treatment to COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration has maintained the medication should not be used to treat or prevent the virus.
The House voted 183-159 on March 16 in favor of the bill, establishing a standing order permitting pharmacists to dispense ivermectin to patients with a prescription from a physician or nurse practitioner.
Representative Leah Cushman, a nurse, introduced H.B. 1022 on Oct. 29. The policy was referred to the Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs.
Cushman told The Epoch Times that she “had absolutely no doubt lives will be saved if human grade Ivermectin was available to COVID patients.”
“We still have patients who don’t know how to find the doctors who will write prescriptions for ivermectin,” Cushman told the House. “It’s safer than having to go to the farm store.”
A Jan. 18 public hearing for the bill lasted over two hours.
Dr. Paul Marik, a Virginia doctor who sued Sentara Healthcare after it banned ivermectin prescriptions, traveled to New Hampshire to attend the hearing. He described the antiparasitic as “cheap, exceedingly safe, and exceedingly effective.”
“If ivermectin had been promoted at the beginning of this pandemic, we would not be sitting here today,” Marik told the committee.
Six co-sponsors are supporting H.B. 1022.
Under the bill, licensed pharmacists would be permitted “to dispense ivermectin under the delegated prescriptive authority of the physician” and “may dispense ivermectin to persons in this state without a prior prescription.”
“Any such prescription shall be regarded as being issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice,” according to the bill.
Pharmacists will be required to provide anyone prescribed ivermectin “a standardized information sheet written in plain language, which shall include, but is not limited to, the importance of follow-up care, and health care referral information.”
“Nothing on the information sheet shall discourage the recipient from using ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” per the proposed legislation.
Representative Gary Woods from Bow, a retired doctor who previously served on the New Hampshire Medical Society, argued during the debate that elected officials did not have the expertise to regulate ivermectin.
“I don’t think the legislature should be practicing medicine, which is basically what this is,” Woods said.
Despite some opposition, the committee recommended the House pass the bill on March 9.
If passed by the Senate and approved by the governor, the policy will go into effect within 60 days.