Doctor Fined For Prescribing Ivermectin Against COVID-19

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times,

A doctor in Washington state has been fined for prescribing ivermectin against COVID-19. He must also take continuing education classes, according to newly filed documents.

Dr. Wei-Hsung Lin must pay $5,000, according to an order signed by the Washington Medical Commission on May 2.

Ivermectin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating several conditions, including parasitic worms. Prescribing medicine for unapproved usage is common in the United States, but administration officials have warned against prescribing and using ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. Regulators have pointed to a database of clinical trials, some of which found ivermectin did not confer a benefit against COVID-19 and some of which found ivermectin was beneficial against the illness.

Dr. Lin, who also signed the order, admitted to prescribing ivermectin to five people without detailing how the prescriptions were off-label, the risks involved, and alternative treatments.

One patient, a 71-year-old female, tested positive for COVID-19 at the emergency room on June 23, 2021. She saw Dr. Lin in a telemedicine visit the following day. He prescribed her 12 milligrams of ivermectin daily for five days after stating that a “substantial body of literature” showed ivermectin was “effective as a one-day therapy or five-day therapy.”

The woman went back to the hospital after taking ivermectin for four days but not seeing improvement. She was ultimately discharged and recovered.

In another case, Dr. Lin prescribed ivermectin to a 69-year-old male for COVID-19. Dr. Lin prescribed extra ivermectin because the man’s wife also had COVID-19. Neither the husband nor wife ended up taking the ivermectin because they went online and “observed the warnings about ivermectin for COVID-19 as well as the possible negative effects for those with heart conditions,” the order states.

Dr. Lin’s treatment was “below standard of care” in part because he did not discuss alternative treatments, according to the document. No alternatives are listed in the document. In 2021, remdesivir was the primary government-approved treatment for some COVID-19 patients.

Authorities also faulted Dr. Lin for not discussing COVID-19 vaccines with his patients.

According to the order, Dr. Lin’s actions constituted unprofessional conduct, defined in state law as “any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption relating to the practice of the person’s profession, whether the act constitutes a crime or not.”

The order prohibits Dr. Lin from prescribing ivermectin off-label to patients in Washington state and from prescribing any medication or providing care for patients without first establishing a doctor-patient relationship.

It also requires him to review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UpToDate websites for current COVID-19 guidelines, take continuing medical education classes on preventing, treating, and managing COVID-19 and establishing a doctor-patient relationship, and write two papers of at least 1,000 words describing what he learned from the websites and classes.

The commission or its designee is also going to make annual compliance visits, including reviewing a random selection of records, and says Dr. Lin must appear within 12 months, and subsequently on an annual basis, at a date and location determined by the commission as part of compliance oversight.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said that the conditions are “extremely onerous” and require work that would “enormously increase the burden of practice and probably drive most physicians out of practice altogether.”

“Ivermectin is an extremely safe drug—much safer than most drugs physicians prescribe without all the ‘informed consent’ discussions demanded here,” Dr. Orient told The Epoch Times in an email.

“As to informing patients of alternatives, the reasons patients were calling this doctor was likely that no alternatives were available. It was ‘isolate and go to ER if you get worse.’”

She recommended doctors avoid Washington state if they’re able.

The Washington Medical Commission did not return an inquiry.

Dr. Lin is employed by the Kadlec Regional Medical Center clinic in Richland.

“After being made aware of an alleged violation by one of our providers, we fully cooperated with the Washington State Department of Health throughout their investigation. While Kadlec does not recommend or allow ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, we respect the rights of patients and physicians to discuss and explore all available treatment options, based on patients’ unique health and medical situations,” a spokesperson for Kadlec told The Epoch Times in an email.

“We remain dedicated to providing high-quality care for all patients we serve, and we are pleased this matter has been resolved.”

If Dr. Lin had contested the allegations, the commission would have heard arguments and then ruled, potentially suspending his license. The commission has already ruled against several doctors who prescribed ivermectin for COVID-19, most recently forbidding pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole from practicing medicine in the state for five years.

“Dr. Lin was willing to fight this all the way but when we looked the risk-reward matrix we felt—and he felt—it was in his best interest to go ahead and settle,” Pete Serrano, an attorney with the Silent Majority Foundation representing Dr. Lin, told The Epoch Times.

“He was ready to kind of close the chapter and move on with his life,” Mr. Serrano added later.

Dr. Lin was initially facing a $25,000 fine and harsher repercussions but negotiations on the settlement ended up reducing some of the penalties.

Dr. Lin can petition to terminate the order in three years.

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