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New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on Friday vetoed a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense ivermectin, a parasite drug, to treat COVID-19 through a standing order without a prescription.
Some Americans are turning to ivermectin to treat the virus, a cheap drug used to kill worms and other parasites in humans and animals. Health experts and medical groups are pushing to eradicate the drug’s use, warning that it can cause harmful side effects and that there is little evidence that it helps.
Sununu said in a press release that New Hampshire there are currently only four cases where pharmacists can dispense over-the-counter drugs: smoking cessation, contraception, substance use disorder, and sexual assault treatment.
He said they have all “been rigorously reviewed and tested to ensure they comply with all required protocols before the drug is issued on a standing order.”
He also said that ivermectin remains available to people if prescribed by their doctor.
“Patients should always consult with their doctor before taking medication so that they are fully aware of treatment options and the potential unforeseen consequences of taking medication that may limit other treatment options in the future,” Sununu said.
The bill also provided for the creation of a commission to study the use of ivermectin for treat COVID-19.