The move by Australia's legal drug authority to warn general practitioners against prescribing the drug Ivermectin as a supposed 'Covid treatment' has divided the grass roots medical fraternity.
Last week, the Therapeutic Goods Administration issued new restrictions on the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 symptoms amid fear it was being handed out by GPs to those using it as an unauthorised treatment for the virus.
The drug, which has traditionally been used to treat lice and scabies in humans, and which also is used to treat conditions in animals, gained popularity as a potential Covid cure after ex-United States President Donald Trump talked it up while in office.
The TGA had warned against using Ivermectin (pictured) to treat Covid and said there could be a number of dangerous side effectsInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Australia's TGA and the United States' FDA have both warned against using ivermectin to treat Covid with the FDA saying: 'You are not a cow, seriously y'all stop'
The TGA fears anti-vaxxers are behind a social media campaign pushing the drug as an alternative to vaccination
News of the direction stirred robust debate among doctors commenting under a Royal Australian College of General Practitioners article.
While some welcomed the decision, many appeared furious that they were being told what was best for their patients.
'The contempt we are held in by our bureaucracy is palpable,' one GP stated.
'Once again general practice is considered the lowest common denominator of medicine, and our competence and objectivity to treat our patients appropriately is questioned,' another doctor wrote.
Some GPs argued it was 'common knowledge' among doctors that vaccination alone was not the only approach to manage pandemics.
'Being vaccinated does not make anyone a superhuman to COVID infection. If our goal is to keep Australian safe from dying, shouldn't we give alternatives to those who for whatever reasons will rather die than take the vaccines,' one doctor wrote.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'India saved their nation with Ivermectin. Do we want people to die in their homes in the name of promoting vaccination? GPs should stand up for choice.'
GPs are now only able to prescribe ivermectin for TGA-approved indications, such as scabies and certain parasitic infections.
The changes mean only specific specialists , including infectious disease physicians, dermatologists, gastroenterologists and hepatologists, will be permitted to prescribe the drug for other 'unapproved indications' if they believe it appropriate.
Ex-United States President Donald Trump supported the use of ivermectin as a possible remedy against Covid-19
Australian GPs have expressed frustration at being told what they can and can't prescribe to their patients