When the Missouri state legislature on Wednesday passed a standard-issue licensure bill for physical therapists, few noticed a clandestine provision on its 32nd page banning pharmacists from telling patients about the potential dangers of using unproven drugs touted by conspiracy fringe groups as “forbidden cures” for COVID-19. The measure in the bill, passed unanimously by the state’s General Assembly, specifically bars pharmacists from disputing “the efficacy of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use” unless specifically asked by a patient or physician. No evidence has been produced to show that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments for the coronavirus, and in some cases they have been found to be actively harmful to patients. Lindsey Simmons, a former Missouri congressional candidate, was one of the few who did notice the measure, pointing out in a thread on Twitter that “nevertheless, the Missouri legislature has chosen to ‘own the libs’ by issuing a gag order against every pharmacist in this state from offering their medical opinion on taking either one of those medications—even if it could kill their patient.” The bill currently awaits a signature from Missouri’s Republican governor, Mike Parson.
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