Judge orders West Chester Hospital to continue Ivermectin treatment prescribed by local doctor

WEST CHESTER — West Chester Hospital has been ordered to continue treating a COVID-19 patient with Ivermectin.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster is now considering arguments from both sides after closing statements for a hearing ended on Friday, according to our news partners at WCPO.

On Aug. 23 Judge Gregory Howard ordered the hospital to give Jeffrey Smith, who is a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator, Ivermectin, WCPO reported. Oster did amend the order and is allowing physicians at the hospital to stop giving Smith the drug if a life-threatening side effect occurs.

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Jeffrey Smith’s wife Julie Smith testified on Thursday and said she wanted her husband to be treated with the drug because it gave her hope.

“I didn’t want to just sit there and let him die,” Julie Smith said in her testimony, according to WCPO.

Charles Galvin, counsel for West Chester Hospital, argued that Smith was not “entitled to receive off label medical treatment from a healthcare provider of her choosing.” Additionally, Galvin said the hospital was not “obligated to provide a highly controversial medication that is discouraged by the FDA, CDC, AMA, and every credentialed, board certified, treating physician at the hospital,” WCPO reported.

Ivermectin is a drug, approved by the FDA, to treat infections caused by parasites. The drug is commonly used to as a livestock de-wormer. According to the FDA, for humans, “ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms.” The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 and said it “has not been shown to be safe or effective.”

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Jeffrey Smith was prescribed the drug by Dr. Fred Wagshul, an instructor at Wright State University and pulmonologist in Centerville. Wagshul does not work for West Chester Hospital and is not board certified, according to WCPO.

Galvin argued that the order to continue with the treatment does not serve the public good and cited the potential harmful side effects.

After Julie Smith said her husband’s condition had improved since receiving the treatment, Ralph Lorigo, counsel for Smith, said in his counter-argument that the drug was an “alternative that has proven to help.

They are awaiting Judge Oster’s ruling.