Ivermectin has been hyped without good evidence as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19. Yesterday it was reported that the main study that has driven positive meta-analyses was either fraudulent or so incompetent as to be meaningless. Bottom line: Ivermectin almost certainly doesn’t work.
As the drip-drip-drip of negative evidence for ivermectin against COVID-19 continues to roll in, conspiracy theorists are doubling down. Why? It’s always about the grift.
The veterinary deworming drug ivermectin has become the new hydroxychloroquine in that it is being promoted as a highly effective treatment against COVID-19—and by many of the same people who previously promoted HCQ—despite evidence that is, at best very weak and at worst completely negative. Unfortunately, with the publication of two new and biased reviews, the “HCQ vibe” about ivermectin is stronger than ever.
Joel Hirschhorn argues that the feds should have used “real world evidence” per the 21st Century Cures Act to approve the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. It’s the same argument acupuncturists use to promote their quackery.
John Ioannidis is one of the most published and influential scientists in the world, someone whose skewering of bad medical research we at SBM have frequently lauded over the years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, Prof. Ioannidis has been publishing dubious studies that minimize the dangers of the coronavirus, shown up in the media to decry “lockdowns,” and, most recently, “punched down”, attacking a graduate student for having criticized him. What happened? Did Prof. Ioannidis change, or was he always like this and I just didn’t see it? Either way, he’s a cautionary tale of how even science watchdogs can fall prey to hubris.