Missouri bill protects doctors who prescribe COVID-19 drugs ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine

The measure will also prevent pharmacists from questioning doctors who prescribe either of the drugs.
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Missouri state capitol
Missouri state capitol, Jefferson City, Mo. jan. 17, 2021.
(Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

The Missouri Legislature has passed legislation to prevent state licensing boards from disciplining doctors who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to their COVID-19 patients.

The measure passed last week will also prevent pharmacists from questioning the decisions of the doctors who prescribe the drugs, unless the patient or physician specifically asks about the effectiveness of the drugs.

It was unclear as of Wednesday whether GOP Gov. Mike Parson would sign the measure into law. 

The two drugs became controversial over the course of the pandemic as some doctors prescribed them to ill patients without approval from the Food and Drug Administration. 

The provision in the bill pertaining specifically to the two drugs was added to a larger piece of legislation that addresses professional licensing in the state. Republican state Sen. Rick Brattin added the measure after speaking with doctors he says are afraid of losing their licenses for prescribing the drugs.

A state Democratic lawmaker says the boards already refrain from punishing doctors who lawfully prescribe either of the two drugs. However, Senate Democrats agreed to the language related to ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to get the larger bill passed.