Posted in Brownstone
March 18, 2022

New Hampshire Votes for Pharmaceutical Freedom

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to make Ivermectin available at any pharmacy that wants to distribute this drug even without a prescription. It will likely pass the Senate and become law. 

It’s a hugely positive breakthrough for medical and pharmaceutical freedom. It’s only tragic that this was not the situation two years ago. The doctors the world over who have rallied behind this treatment believe that many lives might have been saved. If one state in the Northeast had at least made the option available, outcomes might have been very different. 

The Epoch Times reports that “Similar bills are pending legislative approval in Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Arizona, and Alaska.” 

Magnificent! What’s key here is the concept of human choice. 

The irony is very bitter: the vaccine mandates have been universal and people have lost careers for refusing or been rejected for participation in public life. People were forced to get shots of doubtful efficacy in most cases that many people did not want or because they did not see the need and feared their side effects. 

Meanwhile, a drug they would have chosen to take was denied to them, again by force, and physicians who believed they were saving lives had their licenses taken away for using their professional discretion. 

For a good part of last year, many people in the world could freely buy Ivermectin, a generic drug that at least 8 quality studies have shown to be an effective treatment for Covid-19. It has long been part of the alternative treatment protocol for Covid since it was first tried in early 2020, but never recommended by the FDA, CDC, or NIH. At some point, the CDC was tweeting denunciations of it, somehow with the implication that this treatment was distracting from the main push of vaccine fanaticism

A very strange political war broke out in the US over the drug, however, such that people’s acceptance or rejection of it somehow signaled political loyalties – an absurdist example of how politicized the entire pandemic became. In the end, it works well or does not: biology does not care about party affiliation. 

Why did this happen? There are theories. It’s generic. It’s cheap. It’s widely available. Therefore the financial interest did not favor it. Another theory is that early talk of ways to rationally and humanely with Covid missed the main and completely implausible message of lockdowns and then mandates: the goal of everyone should be to restructure life to avoid the bug no matter what. 

In most parts of Central and Latin America, plus India and Eastern Europe, the drug was freely available to anyone. And the results are suggestively positive – though it would take a specialist fully to sort through all the noise in the data. The experience of on-the-ground Covid doctors, once fully free to prescribe what they believe is best, was positive from many reports. 

In the US, however, the situation was very different. Getting a prescription was hard enough. In some states, getting it filled was nearly impossible. You would get a blank stare and a negative head shake from the pharmacist. As a result, the generic became in high demand in gray markets, with people returning from Mexico with stashes and also ordering from abroad. 

The situation became utterly bizarre. Meanwhile, the NIH itself, which is supposed to promote randomized trials of repurposed drugs because major manufacturers have no incentive to do so, was in no rush to find out anything about its effectiveness. The NIH’s major study of repurposed drugs is due to show results more than a year from today. 

Therapeutics in general have been woefully neglected throughout the pandemic. There was no “warp speed” for them. The NIH had all of February 2020 to kick off the investigations. But this apparently did not happen. People were not only denied access to timely testing but also to basic information about what to do if you got sick! As for ventilators, the waste and mess there deserves an article of its own.

Meanwhile, to get the drug, people had to find alternative paths. The group Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance was formed to find ways around the restrictions. In the interest of saving lives during a pandemic! The group formed to get people the therapeutics they needed based on symptoms and checks and contacts with various pharmacists around the country who saw this as a true emergency. They asked only for contributions, which were entirely optional. 

The doctors who have rallied around this drug as part of a full suite of therapeutics estimate that tens or hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved. As a complete nonspecialist in this area, I have no idea if this is correct. But we do know that the physicians who held out, stuck to their guns against all smears, and figured out a way to serve their patients, even against regulatory attacks, became models of courage. 

One night early in January 2022, I caught up with Dr. Pierre Kory of New York, who sounded absolutely exhausted on the phone. He had been working for 18 hours daily, seven days per week, to see patients and take care of needs with precision and deep care, even as he had faced unrelenting attacks. No question of what drove him and does still: the desperate desire to carry out his vocation to save lives and improve public health. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of this stands the CDC, NIH, and HHS. The HHS has actually just produced something of a comic book (though probably not intended as such) designed to train people to recognize “misinformation.” It has no specifics and contains no scientific studies or claims. Instead, it is page after page of hint, hint, nudge nudge. In particular, I was struck by the following frames, which seem directed precisely against all those doctors and organizations that worked so hard during the pandemic to help people. 

You are welcome to peruse the entire document, the main message of which is that the government is always correct, always knows the most science at the time, while front-line doctors with experience are very likely quacks, crazies, or ruthless profiteers. 

Sometimes it seems like the people who produce such propaganda are forever attempting to live in the world of the movie Contagion, where every alternative treatment is a scam promoted by a corrupt “blogger” and where the CDC knows all. This cartoon is a smear in every way. 

Yet even now, after two years of incontrovertible proof of the gigantic age plus health disparity in Covid vulnerability to sever outcomes, after massive demographic data the world over that is highly consistent, Jen Psaki just today said during a press conference that “we don’t know” that Covid affects older people more than young people. 

Such is the state of science at the highest levels. The deliberate cultivation of confusion is national policy. And these are the people we are supposed to trust? 

This battle is much larger than the legal status of Ivermectin. That’s just one symbol. What’s really at stake here is the idea of medical freedom itself. And freedom is a precondition for scientific inquiry and the search for the truth. It is also essential for public health. This is one of many lessons of the disastrously botched pandemic. 

The decisions of the New Hampshire legislature to enshrine that freedom into law in this one instance represent a mighty tribute to the principle and a repudiation of the use of force in disease management.