By AlaskaWatchman.com

Correspondence between Alaska legislators and the state’s Board of Pharmacy reveal deep concerns over whether local pharmacist are being pressured to withhold Ivermectin from Alaskans struggling with COVID.

Alaska Board of Pharmacy Chair Justin Ruffridge

Justin Ruffridge, chair of the Board of Pharmacy, responded to concerns recently raised by three Republican lawmakers – Representatives Kevin McCabe, Ken McCarty and Christopher Kurka. The legislators sent a series of questions to Ruffridge about the availability and access to Ivermectin, a drug many physicians believe is effective for treating COVID.

On Sept. 29 Ruffridge wrote that demand for the drug is high, but that pharmacists are being encouraged to use their professional judgement when deciding whether to fill Ivermectin prescriptions.

Both McCabe and Kurka said they have received multiple reports from Alaska doctors and community members about pharmacists who are feeling threatened that they could lose their license if they dispense Ivermectin to treat COVID. The legislators wanted to know who was threatening pharmacists.

Ruffridge said pharmacist are “faced with difficult decisions” when it comes to Ivermectin, and claimed there is no “clear evidence for the use of Ivermectin for COVID.” By contrast, he said vaccines and monoclonal antibodies” show “great benefit.” He said pharmacists are encouraged to “make the best clinical judgement for the patient’s safety as well as potential liability.”

Without citing sources, Ruffridge claimed there have been “multiple deaths/hospitalizations associated with Ivermectin used to treat COVID-19,” and that “this should give most prescribers and pharmacists reason to pause before using this treatment.” As to whether pharmacists are pressured to reject Ivermectin prescriptions, he adamantly denied that the pharmacy board was threatening licensures.

Click the above image to watch a video about an expert review regarding the safety of Ivermectin.

Ruffridge’s claim that Ivermectin is dangerous runs contrary to a new expert review of the drug written by Dr. Jacques Descotes. A professor emeritus from Claude Bernard University of Lyon (France), and a world-known toxicologist, Descotes has a 40-year track as an independent consultant for both the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory bodies worldwide.

After analyzing more than 500 scholarly articles and web sources, Dr. Descotes reports that Ivermectin has been administered orally to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world in the past three decades with extremely rare and usually mild to moderate side effects.

“It is noteworthy that no deaths have seemingly ever been reported after an accidental or suicidal overdose of ivermectin,” he concludes. “I also want to point out that no severe adverse event has been reported in dozens of completed or ongoing studies involving thousands of participants worldwide to evaluate the efficacy of ivermectin against COVID-19.”

In his questions to Ruffridge, McCabe noted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has indicated that Ivermectin is an effective therapeutic treatment for COVID (see here  and here). He added that “pharmacists should be part of the solution and get out of the way of prescribers so they can do their jobs.”

Alaska’s Pharmacy Board is working on a letter to clarify whether pharmacists should give Ivermectin to covid patients.

Ruffridge responded by stating that the NIH has said there is “insufficient evidence” to recommend either for or against Ivermectin as a COVID treatment. Based on this, Ruffridge said his advice is to administer the drug “on a limited basis” to see if it is effective.

The Board of Pharmacy is currently working on a letter to clarify frequently asked questions about whether pharmacists should fill prescriptions from doctors seeking Ivermectin for their patients. The current draft  says pharmacists are “not obligated” to fill these requests. It encourages pharmacists to “seriously consider” recommendations from several pharmacist associations that “strongly oppose the ordering, prescribing, or dispensing of Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial.” The letter advises pharmacists to resist pressure from doctors or patients, and encourages them to file complaints if they have concerns about the prescribing or dispensing of the medication.

Rep. David Eastman sent an Oct. 13 letter to the Board of Pharmacists raising serious concerns about the wording of the draft letter, stating that it is in direct conflict with Alaska’s Right to Try Act. Passed in 2017, this law allows patients to seek potentially life-saving investigative medications while granting immunity to pharmacists who dispense it.

The law clearly states that a physician “may not be subject to disciplinary action by the board for prescribing, dispensing or administering an investigational drug, biological product or device, or preventing treatment, to a patient for the purpose of sustaining the patient’s life.”

physicians are prevented from treating patients, as a result of barriers from pharmacies, hospitals, and public health agencies.

The law ensures that “Alaskans at risk of death would have access to potentially lifesaving drugs, even when those drugs have not yet gained approval from the FDA,” Eastman said.

He points out that the Board of Pharmacy’s draft letter makes no reference to the law, or the immunity granted to pharmacists, but instead urges them to “strongly consider” withholding prescribed medication from the patient.

“Notably absent from this list is any response that involves the Alaska pharmacist actually dispensing the prescribed medication,” Eastman writes. “Despite offering lip-service to the right of pharmacists to use their own judgment elsewhere in the document, this represents a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine that is fundamentally at odds with a system of healthcare based on individual Alaskan patients seeking and obtaining prescriptions from their doctor.”

Eastman said Ruffridge’s letter does little to alleviate concerns about pharmacists in Alaska and around the world are under pressure to deny Ivermectin prescriptions.

Eastman notes that nearly 12,000 doctors and scientists have now signed the Physicians Declaration, which warns of “an unprecedented assault on our ability to care for our patients” with policy makers forcing a “one size fits all” treatment strategy that is resulting in “needless illness and death, rather than upholding fundamental concepts of the individualized, personalized approach to patient care which is proven to be safe and more effective.”

The declaration states that “thousands of physicians are being prevented from providing treatment to their patients, as a result of barriers put up by pharmacies, hospitals, and public health agencies, rendering the vast majority of healthcare providers helpless to protect their patients in the face of disease.”

“Are you yet unaware of this unprecedented effort to bypass physicians, and the physician-patient relationship, and use pharmacists to pursue a one-size-fits-all approach to determine the appropriate treatment for individual patients?” Eastman asked Alaska’s Board of Pharmacy. “Is the board now to be a willing participant in that effort?”

TAKING ACTION

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Lawmakers fear Alaska pharmacists are pressured to deny Ivermectin to COVID patients

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


35 Comments

  • mhs says:

    My husband was in the hospital last month. I asked the Dr. If he would give him Ivermectin and the malaria drug. He answered that they had not had good results with them. I said but it won’t hurt him and got no reply.A few days later they rendered him unconscious and put that oxygen thing down his throat. Three days later the same doctor explained to me what happens when they force oxygen into their lungs with one of those things. They need to use so much force (My husbands chest was heaving up and down) that it shreds the lining around their lungs and forces oxygen out all over their body. My husbands neck was swollen out past his jaw because it was filled with oxygen. I was told his lungs were destroyed beyond repair. So if the doctor knew that would be the result why did they even start that ‘treatment’? I thought they took an oath to do no harm? If the choice is between shredding a persons lungs or using a couple drugs that have been used for years with little to no side effects there should be no debate as to which treatment to use. And there wouldn’t be a debate except that some people are guided by blinding hatred of Orange Man Bad and/or so much financial greed that they are willing to torture people to death to make a point and/or pad their bank account. Anyone automatically condemning a person to the horrific death of being shredded to pieces from the inside by refusing a harmless treatment which just might work has lost all their humanity. I really can’t say here what I think they deserve.

    • kris spencer says:

      I am livid! I am soooo sorry words cannot express. The exact same thing happened to an acquaintances mother down in the lower 48. The mother was 70 or early 70’s and in good health before contracting the virus. Family took her to hospital and inquired about hydroxy. Now, get this. The reply from the dr. was the exact same! Family was told “it doesn’t work”. They did the exact same procedure with her and couldn’t allow family to com visit. They put the mother into an artificial coma for the breathing apparatus and gave her a different drug (the one known to shut down kidneys. After a few days had passed they had bad news for the family. Even if she could recover, her vital tissues, lungs were in such a mess, it would b a long hard recovery if she recovered to any degree at all. The woman passed away. That was last year. I now suspect that the hospital killed her. Of course it went down as a valuable covid statistic. All across our nation, people are being killed over politics, not from covid, but from lack of quality care and proper treatment. Hospitals will have to answer to God.

    • ykd says:

      Wow, I am so sorry to hear of your experience! This is so sad and wrong.

  • Mongo Likes Candy says:

    Since when is it a Pharmacist’s job to override the clinical decision of an MD? This Ruffridge character needs to be removed from office and face Investigation in regards to his license.

    • kris spencer says:

      That’s scary. They don’t WANT people to recover!

    • Alexandra Duane says:

      So, if a physician prescribes contraceptives, and the pharmacist has religious objections, the pharmacist has to dispense the contraceptives? What about mifepristone and misoprostol to induce the termination of pregnancy? Can a pharmacist override the clinical decision of an MD in that case?
      How about if a pharmacist notices that an MD is prescribing unusually large doses of opioids to a lot of patients? Should the pharmacist just go ahead and dispense them, without question?

      • AKPharmD says:

        I have been a registered pharmacist in Alaska for over 11 years now. It is my responsibility to ensure drugs are being dispensed safely, however it is not my job to select drug therapy. That is the responsibility of the physician. I may offer advice if called upon, I may reach out to a physician to document why a drug is being used if something seems off, but it is certainly not my job to dictate how a physician chooses to treat their patient. Daily pharmacists dispense medications for off label use. We verify they are being prescribed in safe dosing ranges, consult with physician to confirm they did indeed intend to select the drug for that indication, document the conversation, screen for drug interactions and contraindications, and send the patient on their way. This should be every pharmacist’s response to a doctor prescribing ivermectin to treat covid-19. There have been times in my career that my clinical judgement deemed it necessary to refuse to fill a prescription after consulting with a physician. In those limited times there was compelling evidence that risk outweighed potential benefit. I would like to know more about these patients that are allegedly dying from ivermectin use….are they taking it within the recommended dosing range, are they taking it on their own or under the direction of a physician….these details matter.

        A pharmacist’s has the right to refuse to fill a prescription that conflicts with their religious beliefs (contraceptives/mifepristone/misoprostol). In that circumstance the pharmacist must allow the prescription to be filed by another pharmacist in that pharmacy or return/transfer the precision so the patient is able to obtain the prescribed medication elsewhere. This is not overriding the physicians clinical decision, but simply protecting the pharmacist’s right to employment without religious discrimination. This is not the same as refusing to fill an ivermectin prescription.

        As for questioning the high dose of opioids, this obviously would be the pharmacist’s responsibility to question the dosage..but not the drug the doctor is choosing to prescribe his patient unless there are other contraindications. If pharmacist’s had only been as zealous about stopping opioids from being dispensed as they allegedly are about stopping ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine…..maybe we wouldn’t have the opioid crisis we have today

  • James says:

    Many pharmacists aren’t being pressured at all, they’re faithful Branch Covidians.

  • J says:

    Ruffridge operates a pharmacy in Soldotna and absolutely will not fill Ivermectin prescriptions. He’s an insufferable, arrogant little prick who has been an outspoken proponent of “vaccine uber alles” this entire time.

    • EH says:

      The NIH table you’ve cited is for treatments which are either approved (remdesivir) or under clinical evaluation (ivermectin and nitazoxanide). From this table the NIH has not approved ivermectin for the treatment of COVID, it is only stating it is under clinical trial.

  • DoneWithIt says:

    Ruffridge is the EXACT type of person that was a guard at Auschwitz – parroting The State’s propaganda line – smug in the little bit of power they get to exercise over others people’s lives.
    Who the H E Double Sticks does this guy think he is – overriding physicians?
    Based on what – the NIH, CDC, and Fauci? The corporate medical establishment is corrupt to the core – and people like Ruffridge are committing unpardonable sins – actual crimes against humanity.
    Early therapuetics Ivermectin and Hydrochloriquine are being routinely ignored and denied – because they are not big MONEY MAKERS for BigPharma. Lenin had a word for the Ruffridge types – useful idiots.

  • Carrie+Harris says:

    The really ugly here is you are worth more dead to the hospitals and doctors then you are alive you are alive. If you go in on their protocol, they will document your stages of death that will be sold to a research company. They will charge your insurance Uncle Sam will give him some extra money and then for your part of the old bill under your insurance they’ll put a lien against your property. The only way the right to try is going to be able to be used as if the doctor refusing and the pharmacist refusing a person’s right to try is put in jail for refusing. They have insurance to cover their lawsuits. The right to try exempts them from liability. Until these doctors pharmacist in any hospital administrators are actually put in jail for refusing right to try, and it should be an manslaughter charge, you don’t have a right to try, you just have to right to pay someone else for your death. People take the Ivermec before you go to the hospital you would literally have to drink a gallon of it to kill you. The dose is 12 mg twice a day for 3 days after the first no she’ll be able to breathe again I know because I had to take my goats and I would dead if I didn’t have it. If you can’t find the liquid injectable for cattle sheep and swine, then the horse paste will work just use two pea size amounts, twice a day for 3 days.

  • Kris Spencer says:

    So w/o quoting a source, he said people were admitted to hospital and dying due to Ivermectin??? I’ll tell ya what. We just had a wonderful Anchorage man killed by a hospital who withheld this treatment…requested by both him and his personal doctor. The hospital played politics until the man eventually died…not from covid-related illness but from the withholding of proper treatment. These people are growing more wicked by the hour. They do not WANT people to live! The joy we have is knowing that he is now with His Lord and Savior. But make no mistake…those individuals who withheld the same stuff they gave to President Trump who was fully recovered in 3-4 days…those individuals will most certainly be held accountable.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    One by one there stepping in line just like little Sheep
    So wrong

  • Tamra+Nygaard says:

    It is all about the money. If ivermectin works, then the multiple billions of dollars for the clot shot don’t get paid to the right people, and the kickbacks to the politicians dry up. It has not been about health care ever since the shot makers were granted complete immunity to prosecution for the deaths they cause. Hospitals get paid by the government for Covid patients, not whether they live or die. Pharmacists get paid per clot shot given, not whether they help anyone heal. Follow the money, and you will see your answer.

  • Larry+Wood says:

    Ruffridge is just repeating the Fauci lie. Further, there is money behind this, Merck has a big stake in their new Ivermectin clone that is only 44% effective, will cost us over 40X what it costs to manufacture–which cost is subsidized by the taxpayer, and may cause cancer and misscarriages. Ask the 241M people in Uttar Pradesh about how well Dr. Vladimir Zelenko’s Ivermection protocol works. Ask Dr. Robert Malone who used an Ivermectin protocol to treat his COVID-19. The doctors cannot practice medicine, because the CDC will sue them to force compliance, and they can lose their license. Governor Dunleavy needs to grow some cojones and authorize the use of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine protocols. Let the doctors practice medicine, and not be forced to watch people to die when there are CHEAP and effective drugs available. However, that is the problem, Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are cheap compared to the drugs coming out by big pharma and they won’t kill you, unlike the new drugs being developed by big pharma. Governor Dunleavy, authorize the use of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine protocols. I think Dr. Zink’s BS has killed enough Alaskans, don’t you?

  • Larry+Wood says:

    I should have stated that my wife and I just recovered from COVID-19-D. I also had pneumonia as part and parcel, not sure why, I think it was the lack of sleep from the back ache that did not mitigate things in my favor. Not fun, been kicked by that mule, but now should be clear for 1-1.5 years, because of natural immunity. No way will we vax. I am 69 and my wife is 67. What is happening with this vaccinate is the panacea is contrary to all we’ve learned in this live regarding natural immunity.

  • Alexandra Duane says:

    I see that my post pointing out some factual inaccuracies in this article has not been approved. TL;DR: the two links in paragraph 10 are not to two different references, but to the same page. The NIH is NOT recommending ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment.
    Refusing to allow an entirely factual comment because it points out errors is, well, kinda cowardly.

    • Joyce says:

      That’s interesting, this information says NIH DOES recommend it, and includes the dose recommendations.
      http://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/tables/table-2e/
      Many researchers and doctors around the world have taken the vax vile contents and put it under their microscope, they are finding parasites (and metals and graphine, etc.) in the jab. I’m thinking Ivermectin would be great for getting rid of the parasite that was working its way through your system from the jab.
      But, at the end of the day, it is not the pharmacist that makes that decision. It is the doctor’s decision. If the pharmacist questions a script, he/she should contact the physician. Not just decline to fill it. That is against the law. This Mr. Ruffridge should resign.

      • EH says:

        The NIH table you’ve cited is for treatments which are either approved (remdesivir) or under clinical evaluation (ivermectin and nitazoxanide). From this table the NIH has not approved ivermectin for the treatment of COVID, it is only stating it is under clinical trial.

  • T. Spring says:

    Just my two cents. Justin Ruffridge is a bold face liar. Pharmacists and physicians are being threatened with their entire livelihood if prescribing and/or filling prescriptions for Ivermectin. I have called around Soldotna and Kenai doing my own research/poll. PHYSICIANS CANNOT WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS AND PHARMACISTS CANNOT FILL THEM FOR IVERMECTIN. Why, because Justin Ruffridge, chair of the Board of Pharmacy and Politicians are in bed with big pharma. There is more money in the JAB than in saving people with a drug that has been around for many years and has even won the Nobel Peace Prize. I believe that Providence Hospital has blood on their hands for the death of William Topel because they chose to deny his and his doctor’s request for Ivermectin and vitamins to be administered to him. Politicians need to get out of doctor’s and pharmacist’s way and let them save people’s lives!

  • jh says:

    Please research Pierre Kory, Dr. Paul Marik and Dr. Peter McCullough.
    Pierre Kory, a leading researcher on ivermectin, describing his fight to bring ivermectin to the world: “Our little ivermectin has so many big enemies. It’s David versus 10 Goliaths.”
    Dr. Paul Marik, famous in world medical circles, the second-most published critical care doctor in the history of medicine, says if ivermectin “were universally distributed at a dose that costs 10 American cents in India and about the cost of a Big Mac in the U.S., ivermectin would save countless lives, crush variants, eliminate the need for endless big pharma booster shots and end the pandemic all over the world.”
    Dr. Peter McCoullough, has been the world’s most prominent and vocal advocate for early outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection in order to prevent hospitalization and death.
    Here are his credentials:

    Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH, FACP, FACC, FAHA, FCRSA, FCCP, FNKF, FNLA
    Professor of Medicine, Texas A & M College of Medicine
    Board Certified Internist and Cardiologist
    President Cardiorenal Society of America
    Editor-in-Chief, Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine
    Editor-in-Chief, Cardiorenal Medicine
    Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Cardiology
    Dr. Peter McCullough has an impressive list of credentials1 — he’s an internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist and a full professor of medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine in Dallas and is the editor of two medical journals and published hundreds of studies in the literature. He’s also among those brave and courageous persons speaking out about the dangers of COVID-19 jabs and putting his medical license and future livelihood at risk by so doing.
    -Dr. Peter McCullough who warns that COVID-19 vaccines not only are failing but are putting lives at risk
    -McCullough believes if the proper safety boards had been in place, the COVID-19 vaccine program would have been shut down in February 2021 based on safety and risk of death
    -By January 22, 2021, 186 deaths had been reported after COVID-19 vaccination — more than enough to reach the mortality signal of concern
    -In his practice, McCullough is seeing an array of neurologic syndromes in people who’ve been vaccinated, with symptoms including blindness, paralysis, difficulty swallowing, headaches, ringing in the ears, myocarditis and more
    -McCullough also mentions antigenic, or immune, escape, which he believes is driving the creation of COVID-19 variants and making the pandemic worse instead of better
    The chilling threats by powerful medical regulatory bodies will effectively silence physicians and other healthcare personnel in speaking or writing on the pandemic. As the calls and office visits pour in from vaccine failure cases, doctors face a difficult set of choices. Treating patients for acute COVID-19 means facing risks concerning the choice of treatments and what is said regarding the medical evidence and the outcomes patients can expect.
    The process of taking care of patients has become convoluted as heavy-handed public statements by the American Medical Association and public health officials have declared no benefit for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin despite hundreds of supportive studies, randomized trials, and first-line use in many countries around the world.
    Go online to the FLCCC website, and read more about its ivermectin travails and the travesties its doctors have encountered. Spread the story to your friends.
    It states “You, too, might be among those to save the world.”

    • NP+Adam says:

      McCullough is the leading expert. He should be the one running the C-Task force. It would be finished in a month.

  • Sharon says:

    Please keep fighting for us to choose!! A ventilator vs trying these controversial medicines is crazy. Let the patients try everything available.

  • AB says:

    You know what’s been used for more than 30 years “with extremely rare and usually mild to moderate side effects?” Answer: Vaccines… But according to so many folks on here, covid is a “fake virus,” so why is Ivermectin being endorsed here? And Ivermectin is a Big Pharma product, so what makes it superior to the Big Pharma covid vaccines, other than the fact that Fox News endorses it while CNN endorses the vaccine?

    • Christine Brandt says:

      Vaccines that were properly vetted. The Covid shit is not a vaccine it is an inoculation. There is no live virus. The difference is no one is being paid to give you ivermectin and it is inexpensive. Oh and hey by the way there is not one Covid shot that is FDA approved in the United States. Oh and I do not watch Fox and especially not CNN.

    • Bill Schmidt says:

      Typical Liberal, strawman attack instead of actual argument.

    • DoneWithIt says:

      Keep drinking the Kool-Aid. Take your booster jab – Fuaci ad Biden said too!
      Let’s Go Brandon!

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