OMAHA, Neb. (AP & KMTV) — Nebraska's attorney general says he won't seek disciplinary action against doctors who prescribe controversial, off-label drugs to treat and prevent coronavirus infections, as long as they get informed consent from patients and don't engage in misconduct.
The office of Attorney General Doug Peterson released a legal opinion saying it didn't see data to justify legal action against health care professionals who prescribe ivermectin, a decades-old parasite treatment, or hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that former President Donald Trump took to try to prevent a COVID-19 infection.
The opinion from Peterson's office was addressed to Dannette R. Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The introduction says that Smith requested an opinion from the attorney general as to whether or not it was lawful to discipline licensed healthcare providers for prescribing "off-label" use of medications for the treatment of COVID-19.
The introduction to the attorney general's opinion also said, "After receiving your (Smith's) question and conducting our investigation, we have found significant controversy and suspect information about potential COVID-19 treatments."
The document goes on to cite examples of the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.
In the conclusion Peterson wrote, "...We do not find clear and convincing evidence that a physician who first obtains informed consent and them utilizes ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 violates the UCA (Uniform Credentialing Act)."
Many health experts and leading medical groups have been trying to stop the use of both drugs, arguing that they can cause harmful side effects and there's little evidence they help.