2021 Press Releases

HomeAboutNewsroomPress ReleasesPress Releases from the ATS2021 Press Releases ▶ Ivermectin Should Not Be Used for COVID-19 Outside of a Clinical Trial, Says American Thoracic Society
Ivermectin Should Not Be Used for COVID-19 Outside of a Clinical Trial, Says American Thoracic Society

New York, NY -- Oct. 1, 2021 -- The American Thoracic Society strongly opposes the use of Ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 outside of a registered clinical trial.  The ATS further opposes court or other legal efforts to compel physicians to provide unproven treatments for COVID-19 or any other health condition.

As noted in the statement released by Merck, the maker of Ivermectin, currently available information does not support the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.  According to Merck, there is:

  • No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies; 
  • No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and; 
  • A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

“We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information,” said Merck in their most recent statement on the use of Ivermectin and COVID-19.

Ivermectin is approved for use in humans by the FDA in the U.S. and by other regulatory agencies internationally to treat infections caused by parasites. Ivermectin is also approved for veterinary applications.

“As President of the American Thoracic Society, I and all the leaders of the ATS are greatly concerned by patient self-medication of Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.  Until the therapeutic value of Ivermectin in COVID-19 is demonstrated through rigorously conducted clinical trials, the ATS leadership strongly opposes its use to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial setting,” says ATS President Lynn Schnapp, MD, ATSF. “We are further alarmed by a recent court decision that would have forced physicians to provide this unproven treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. I am grateful the initial court decision compelling the use of ivermectin to treat a COVID-19 patient was overturned. 

The best way to prevent COVID-19 continues to be vaccination, coupled with other proven public health interventions such as masking and social distancing.