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Ivermectin prescribed to inmates in Washington County, Arkansas


Inmates who test positive for COVID-19 at the Washington County Detention Center are being offered ivermectin, the sheriff’s office confirmed to 40/29 News.Ivermectin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating or preventing COVID-19.Karas Correctional Health has a contract with the county to care for inmates.The sheriff’s office learned Tuesday that Dr. Robert Karas has been offering ivermectin to inmates who test positive for COVID-19.Eva Madison, Washington County Justice of the Peace, said she raised the issue with the sheriff. She brought her concerns to the Washington County Finance and Budget Meeting.”The sheriff was aware, endorsed it, and then put me in touch with Rob Karas himself,” Madison said. Madison said the county is paying for the inmates’ ivermectin prescriptions.Karas has not returned requests to comment and the sheriff’s office declined to comment.Although ivermectin is not approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, it is approved for other conditions, like parasitic infections.”To prescribe it for any other condition would be called ‘off-label use’ and that is permissible by law if the physician chooses to do that,” Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Medical Director for Immunizations for the Arkansas Department of Health, told 40/29 News.Dr. Jose Romero, Arkansas Secretary of Health, made a distinction in a Tuesday news conference between legitimate uses of ivermectin and dangerous uses that have been promoted on social media.”What we’re seeing across the south and not just in our state is that veterinary-grade ivermectin is being taken by humans,” Romero said. “There is an increase in the numbers of cases both in adults and children.”Lower-grade ivermectin can be prescribed to humans off-label for certain uses, but only by a physician, Dr. Romero said.

Inmates who test positive for COVID-19 at the Washington County Detention Center are being offered ivermectin, the sheriff’s office confirmed to 40/29 News.

Ivermectin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating or preventing COVID-19.

Karas Correctional Health has a contract with the county to care for inmates.

The sheriff’s office learned Tuesday that Dr. Robert Karas has been offering ivermectin to inmates who test positive for COVID-19.

Eva Madison, Washington County Justice of the Peace, said she raised the issue with the sheriff. She brought her concerns to the Washington County Finance and Budget Meeting.

“The sheriff was aware, endorsed it, and then put me in touch with Rob Karas himself,” Madison said.

Madison said the county is paying for the inmates’ ivermectin prescriptions.

Karas has not returned requests to comment and the sheriff’s office declined to comment.

Although ivermectin is not approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, it is approved for other conditions, like parasitic infections.

“To prescribe it for any other condition would be called ‘off-label use’ and that is permissible by law if the physician chooses to do that,” Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Medical Director for Immunizations for the Arkansas Department of Health, told 40/29 News.

Dr. Jose Romero, Arkansas Secretary of Health, made a distinction in a Tuesday news conference between legitimate uses of ivermectin and dangerous uses that have been promoted on social media.

“What we’re seeing across the south and not just in our state is that veterinary-grade ivermectin is being taken by humans,” Romero said. “There is an increase in the numbers of cases both in adults and children.”

Lower-grade ivermectin can be prescribed to humans off-label for certain uses, but only by a physician, Dr. Romero said.

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