Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill on Apr. 22, 2022, allowing Ivermectin to be dispensed without a prescription. The new law states, “a pharmacist, in good faith, may provide Ivermectin to a patient who is eighteen (18) years of age or older pursuant to a valid collaborative pharmacy practice agreement containing a non-patient-specific prescriptive order and standardized procedures developed and executed by one (1) or more authorized prescribers.” 

Introduced by Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) on Jan. 31, Senate Bill 2188 was co-sponsored by Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City). The amended version of the bill signed by Gov. Lee will create a standard procedure for pharmacists to easily dispense Ivermectin to patients while protecting a pharmacist or doctor from being held liable for doing so. 

Enacted by adding a new section to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 63, Chapter 10, Part 2, the law states that “a pharmacist or prescriber acting in good faith and with reasonable care involved in the provision of Ivermectin pursuant to this section is immune from disciplinary or adverse administrative actions under this title for acts or omissions during the provision of Ivermectin.” The law further states:

“A pharmacist or prescriber involved in the provision of Ivermectin pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability in the absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct for actions authorized by this section.”

The state’s board of pharmacy is tasked with adopting rules to establish standard procedures for the provision of Ivermectin by pharmacists, including providing patients with a screening risk assessment tool. They will also offer a standardized fact sheet that includes the indications and contraindications for using Ivermectin, the appropriate method for using the drug, and the importance of medical follow-up, among other information deemed relevant by the board. 

Screenshot / c19ivermectin.com

The Republican-backed bill passed the Senate in a vote of 23-6 and passed the House on a 66-20 party-line vote, with bill sponsor Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) stating it is a safe and effective alternative to the experimental COVID-19 “vaccines.” Lynn commented that the amended bill, which does not require pharmacists to dispense Ivermectin, “would allow Tennesseans to have a solution for early at-home care in the event they get a virus such as COVID.” Disgruntled Nashville Democrat Rep. Bo Mitchell dismissed the drug’s well-established safety and effectiveness, asking Lynn:

“So I just heard you admit there you want to remove any liability from the pharmacists for giving, handing this out. Why would we want to do that if this was such a great way to treat these conditions?”

Lynn pointed out that the pharmacist “is not the prescriber” and would simply be consulting with the patient or family member seeking Ivermectin, adding, “They’re making up their minds to seek this very, very safe, historically safe medication that works well on viruses.”  

While Sens. Niceley and Crowe were instrumental in introducing the bill making Ivermectin available in the Volunteer State, Dr. Lynn Fynn, an expert in the early treatment of COVID-19, also played a crucial role in the bill becoming law. On Apr. 25, Dr. Fynn shared the news of Tennessee’s accomplishment, stating on her Telegram channel:

“Proud of my team! Because Global Covid Summit and FLCCC testified at the TN State Legislature so effectively, Ivermectin is now Over The Counter! No prescription and no consult needed! This is unprecedented as in the past, only the FDA was able to determine this; however, TN got it done!” 

Screenshot / Federation of State Medical Boards

Despite the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s refusal to recommend Ivermectin, Tennessee joins at least 30 states that have bills that would either restrict medical boards’ authority to discipline clinicians who prescribe Ivermectin or allow its off-label use for treating COVID-19, or both. After all, many experts recommend the drug for treating COVID-19, which is supported by numerous studies.

One such study published in PubMed by The American Journal of Therapeutics asserts that repurposed medicines like Ivermectin may have a valuable role against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, the drug has now been tested in multiple clinical trials. Inspired by the prior literature review of Dr. Pierre Kory, the study concluded:

“Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using Ivermectin. Using Ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that Ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.”

In addition to the state’s victory with Ivermectin, Tennessee has another significant COVID-related bill that has made its way to the governor’s desk. HB 1871 – SB 1982 “prohibits any private business, governmental entity, local education agency, or school from adopting or enforcing a rule, policy, procedure, or practice which treats individuals with natural immunity from COVID-19 that has been verified by documentation differently than those who have received a vaccination for COVID-19.” The bill was transmitted to Gov. Lee for his action on Apr. 19, 2022.

The Story Of Ivermectin And COVID-19