Kansas senators early Thursday morning narrowly passed a bill that would force pharmacists to fill unproven off-label prescriptions for drugs intended to treat or prevent COVID-19.
The bill’s promotion of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine has been a priority of right-wing Republicans, as well as its protection for doctors against health board investigations and anti-vaccine mandate measure.
The Senate worked on a host of bills into the early morning hours in a marathon session. The off-label drug bill, HB 2280, passed 21-16 shortly before 1:30 a.m.
“Thousands of Kansans and hundreds of thousands of Americans have died because of this propaganda that shut down early treatment,” said Sen. Mark Steffen, R-Hutchinson. “I fully believe that this passage of this bill through the Senate will gain national attention and help be a very important part of getting the care to the people who need it.”
The bill would allow doctors to prescribe ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and any other FDA-approved drug that isn’t a controlled substance for an off-label use to prevent or treat COVID-19.
It further requires pharmacists to fill the prescriptions, removing their professional discretion to refuse to fill a prescription, unless they find a reason other than the connection to COVID-19.
“With this provision, a doctor can write a prescription for abortion medication under the guise of COVID, and the pharmacist must fill it,” said Cindy Holscher, D-Overland Park, who opposed the bill.
Another piece protects doctors from board of healing arts investigations connected to the pandemic, prohibiting any “recommendation, prescription, use or opinion” on COVID-19 treatments from being considered unprofessional conduct.
The bill also expands existing religious exemptions for childhood wellness vaccines at schools and day cares. It effectively creates a new exemption where any parent can claim a moral or ethical exemption to any youth vaccinations.
Ivermectin prescribers are ‘heroes’ and ‘patriots’
Steffen, an anesthesiologist, has admitted he is under investigation in connection to COVID-19 and that he has prescribed ivermectin. He maintains the bill wouldn’t personally benefit him.
Medical authorities have warned against off-label use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which reputable studies suggest are not effective against COVID-19.
Steffen claims otherwise.
“Studies overwhelmingly show that ivermectin has up to an 85% chance of reducing hospitalizations and death when given early for COVID,” he said in caucus. “This is about decreasing suffering and death of the individual patient.”
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that is commonly used in livestock and is readily available in veterinary form. It is also approved for human use. Hydroxychloroquine, sometimes abbreviated as HCQ, is a malaria drug that is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Steffen said ivermectin is difficult to obtain.
“To a large degree, it’s been driven underground,” he said. “In my Reno County area, I have an 80-year-old Mennonite pastor and his wife, who is a retired nurse, they’re doling it out behind the scenes to all their church members. I have other people who have gone to the veterinary for ivermectin and dole that out to their friends. They know what they’re doing and they do a great job with it.”
He later declined to divulge the church’s name to reporters.
“This state is full of heroes, of patriots, who stepped up and provided treatment to the sick when it was needed, when our doctors and our hospitals would not,” Steffen said.
Is the bill anti-vaccine?
Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs, said the bill was intended to “protect the right of a patient to receive an off-label prescription from their doctor” and to protect the doctors from health board investigations.
He said he has seen complaints against doctors in his district that state the investigations stem from off-label prescriptions via telemedicine.
Sen. Mike Thompson, R-Shawnee, supported the bill.
“I personally know people who’ve had to sneak some of these medications into hospitals to help people survive,” he said on the floor. “They work. They are useful.”
Sen. Beverly Gossage, R-Eudora, told the caucus that she is one of the patients who had difficulty finding the off-label drugs.
“I personally had to go to Missouri to get a prescription,” she said.
Gossage also said the COVID shot “by definition is not a vaccine, it’s still not approved by the FDA.”
That is false. The vaccines are vaccines, and the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for adult use.
Hilderbrand also questioned whether the vaccines are vaccines, but maintained that “this bill is not about anti-vaccination.”
The newly created philosophical objection raised concerns from Sen. Kristen O’Shea, R-Topeka.
“Medical advances allow children and grandchildren the chance to grow up without knowing the debilitating effects of serious diseases like polio and meningitis,” she said.
“As a new mother, I cannot support creating blanket exemptions that will take our state backwards and likely allow for the return to the dangerous diseases that have nearly been eradicated in our country by safe, effective immunizations.”
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV