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Court to FDA: Stop Playing Doctor

Director at Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative
Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D. is the Director of the Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative at Paragon Health Institute, and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A native New Yorker, he recently completed two years as General Counsel and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

The Fifth Circuit revives a lawsuit over advice against taking ivermectin for Covid.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates pharmaceuticals, but it has no business playing doctor and giving you medical advice. That’s the message of a Sept. 1 ruling from the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which strikes a blow against the public-health excesses of the Covid-19 pandemic and in support of the physician-patient relationship.

The decision reversed a district court’s dismissal of an action by three physicians who alleged the FDA overstepped its authority by issuing medical advice. That lawsuit will now proceed.

The physician-plaintiffs had prescribed the human version of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin to Covid-19 patients. The doctors claimed that six FDA informational releases—which the court dubbed the “posts”—interfered with physicians’ “ability to exercise professional medical judgment in practicing medicine” by advising Covid-19 patients not to use ivermectin.

The physicians also alleged the posts resulted in harm to their reputations. One was referred to state medical boards for prescribing ivermectin, and the referrals included copies of the FDA’s posts. Another lost her hospital admitting privileges. The third lost medical school and hospital positions.

The full article can be found in The Wall Street Journal.

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