New Orleans– A federal appeals court Friday breathed new life into a lawsuit by three doctors. They claim that the Food and Drug Administration exceeded its jurisdiction when it campaigned against using the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
The drug Ivermectin, is used to treat parasitic infections. Some doctors were using it to treat COVID-19. However, the FDA rejected this treatment because no research paper has approved the effectiveness of Ivermectin in COVID-19.
In New Orleans, Friday’s ruling from a panel of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal discussed various aspects of the FDA campaign against COVID-19 treatment with ivermectin. They acknowledged the FDA’s point of view because some people were hospitalized after self-medicating using ivermectin.
Drs. Robert L. Apter, Mary Talley Bowden, and Paul E. Marik filed the case, saying the FDA anti-ivermectin campaign damaged their reputations. Dr. Paul E. Marik lost his position at his medical school and hospital.
The ruling said the doctors could proceed with their lawsuit because the FDA’s campaign surpassed the agency’s authority under federal law. The campaign used the slogan, “You are not a horse!” This slogan misguided people because the drug can also be prescribed to humans.
Judge Don Willet wrote, “FDA is not a physician. It has the authority to inform, announce, and apprise—but not to endorse, denounce, or advise.”
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown threw out the lawsuit in December. He claimed that the complaints made in the lawsuit did not provide enough grounds to challenge the FDA’s “sovereign immunity.” Sovereign immunity is a legal concept that shields government entities from many civil lawsuits related to their official responsibilities.
The appellate panel disagreed with Judge Brown’s decision. They believed that the FDA’s actions had breached its authority.