The FDA sets a precedent by deleting social media posts

A recent settlement in Texas shows the organization agreed to take down posts advising people not to take ivermectin to treat COVID-19.


Xander Strickland


     On March 21, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration settled a lawsuit concerning several posts warning against the use of ivermectin for treating COVID-19. The lawsuit, filed by three doctors in early June of 2022, challenged the FDA’s posts, which explicitly cautioned against the use of ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug typically intended for use on livestock, as a treatment for COVID-19. Of the three original plaintiffs, only one (Mary Talley Bowden) actually saw the lawsuit through to its settlement. 

     In the lawsuit, Bowden and others claimed that the FDA had overstepped its capacities in dispensing health information, and had strayed into the realm of health advisory, which they claimed negatively impacted the ability of doctors to continue their health care practices.

     Bowden has started recommending ivermectin for the treatment of COVID as early as the beginning of 2020 and, according to the lawsuit, was “derided by Houston Methodist Hospital and forced to resign her privileges there as a result.” 

     Now, following the conclusion of the settlement, Bowden has claimed that the FDA’s agreement to remove the posts shows the organization is “losing its war on ivermectin and agree[ing] to remove all social media posts and consumer directives regarding ivermectin and COVID…” and that “this landmark case sets an important precedent in limiting FDA overreach into the doctor-patient relationship.” 

     In this settlement the FDA stated that they have “not admitted any violation of law or any wrongdoing” and that the organization “disagree[s] with the plaintiff’s claim that the agency exceeded its authority in issuing the statements challenged in the lawsuit.” The FDA also stated that it did have the “authority to communicate with the public regarding the products it regulates” and that the agency had chosen to settle in this way because it saw no use in continuing to litigate over posts that are over two years old. 

     There are zero peer-reviewed and published medical articles, zero clinical trials, zero isolated testing, zero definitive scientific information locatable on the internet that supports ivermectin as an effective treatment for COVID-19 in the dosages and forms that some medical practitioners like Mary Bowden were prescribing prior to their suspension of medical privileges.

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