3. Ivermectin prescriptions soar
Prescriptions for Ivermectin soared more than 70% between 2019 and the beginning of 2021, according to insurance claim data compiled by Komodo Health.
Why it matters: Ivermectin — which has some dermatological uses in humans but is mostly for veterinary purposes — has not been shown to be at all effective against COVID, yet its use has soared, fueled in part by rampant misinformation.
What they're saying: "We're doing an insurance claims analysis — providers are writing those prescriptions and pharmacists are filling them," Tabby Khan, Komodo's medical director, told Axios.
- "It's like: How deep does this disinformation go that it's now impacting providers?"
The intrigue: The Komodo data appears to illuminate, in many settings, a backdoor for patients to obtain the drug for off-label use.
- Prescriptions from dermatologists, the specialty that has traditionally been the most likely to recommend the drug, rose only 2% during the study time period.
- At the same time, prescriptions for the drug from doctors in anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pulmonary disease specialties increased 1,319%, 1,301%, and 1,167%, respectively.
The bottom line: "This is just a small pot of the Ivermectin being taken in the United States right now, because for every physician and insurance claim that gets filed, you'll also see people going to animal supply stores or paying out of pocket. This is really concerning," Khan said.
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