Merck’s deadly Vioxx playbook, redux: a debunked smear campaign against its competing drug—the FDA-approved, Nobel prize-honored ivermectin

Latest news reports of a cluster of ivermectin overdoses in Oklahoma were debunked by the hospital. Not one such case. The doctor who fabricated the story hadn’t work there in two months.

On February 4, 2021, Merck, which is readying release of its new COVID-19 treatment drug, molnupiravir, issued a press release about that new drug’s competition, ivermectin.1 Merck itself had developed ivermectin, now off-patent, for human use, securing FDA approval in 1987, and distributed most of its 3.7 billion doses safely used worldwide since.2-4 It was thus curious that Merck’s press release about use of ivermectin for COVID expressed “a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”1

Recently, many news reports5-8 picked up on Merck’s theme, lambasting the use of a dangerous horse de- wormer by gullible consumers. The most recent were by the BBC,9 Rolling Stone,10 The Guardian,11 MSN12 and others, about Oklahoma hospital facilities being strained with ivermectin overdoses, delaying other emergency care. The hospital system in question debunked the story, noting that it had not one case of ivermectin overdosing and that the doctor who fabricated the story hadn’t worked th...

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