Ivermectin Prescriptions: Overcoming Barriers to Access
As demand for ivermectin surged across the United States in 2021, public health agencies and mainstream media reacted swiftly to deter people from using the medication for COVID-19. Consequently, many pharmacies and individual pharmacists began refusing to fill valid prescriptions for ivermectin.
This page aims to dispel some common misconceptions and provide guidance on how you can work with your pharmacist to overcome the barriers to access.
MISCONCEPTION 1: The pharmacy is unable to fill your prescription because corporate policy does not allow it.
TRUTH: Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid do not have a corporate policy that states they will not fill ivermectin prescriptions. Nor do the major grocery chain pharmacies (e.g., Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club)
MISCONCEPTION 2: Ivermectin is out of stock due to supply shortages and the pharmacy is unable to order more.
TRUTH: Edenbridge Pharmaceuticals, the only company authorized by the FDA to manufacture and distribute ivermectin for human use in the United States, says there are currently no supply shortages for human-grade ivermectin anywhere in the country. There are very few circumstances where a pharmacy/pharmacist cannot obtain a supply of ivermectin within 24 to 48 hours of ordering.
MISCONCEPTION 4: The pharmacy cannot fill the prescription because ivermectin is not FDA-approved for COVID treatment.
TRUTH: Once the FDA approves a prescription medication, federal laws allow any U.S. physician to prescribe the duly approved drug for any reason. In fact, around 30 percent of all prescriptions in the United States are for off-label uses, written by providers exercising their medical judgment. FDA-approved drugs like ivermectin may be prescribed for an unapproved use (“off-label”) when the provider believes it to be medically appropriate for their patients. The FDA affords clinicians the freedom to prescribe and treat using medications that they deem to be in the best interest of the patient. To read more about off-label prescriptions, visit www.fda.gov.
MISCONCEPTION 5: A pharmacist is always required to fill a prescription no matter what.
TRUTH: There are some reasons why a pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription. These include concern that the medication may interact badly with another drug you are taking; concern that an excessive quantity has been prescribed; or concern that the prescription wasn’t issued by the provider whose name appears on the prescription.
It is a pharmacist’s responsibility to check with the provider to clarify these concerns and confirm the medical correctness of the prescription. In this way, pharmacists play an important role in ensuring your safety and good health.
Some states legally allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions due to religious or moral objections. However, many of these states still require the pharmacist to avoid neglecting or abandoning the patient’s needs and ensure they can get treated elsewhere.
What to do if a pharmacy refuses to fill your prescription:
- Politely ask the pharmacist the reason for refusing to fill the prescription.
- Share the information above that dispels common misconceptions.
- Tell the pharmacist that corporate pharmacy chains have said they want to know who is not filling ivermectin prescriptions. Ask the pharmacist for their full name and store number and let them know you will be contacting the corporate office to report the incident. Document the store number and location, the name of the pharmacist, and the reason they gave for refusing to fill the valid prescription.
- If you believe your pharmacist knowingly lied to you, report them to the state pharmacy board.
- Look for another pharmacy – try online or compounding pharmacies as an option or search the FLCCC pharmacy directory.
Contact Details for Corporate Chains
Call 1-877-287-2040 for 24/7 access to live support.
Use this website to make a report by telephone or by online form. If you report by telephone, you will receive a 12-digit report key to include in any written submission.
Chat: Under Help and “Contact Us”
Link to email: https://www.samsclub.com/help-center/additional- help?xid=help-centercontact-representative
Link to Email form: https://customerservice.costco.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1218
Call: 1-800-KROGERS (1-800-576-4377)
Questions about prescriptions: 1-855-489-2502
Email & Chat: https://www.kroger.com/hc/help/contact-us
Email form: https://www.publix.com/contact/contact-us