Board: Physician-legislator’s COVID directive has no weight

April 8, 2022 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas board that licenses health care providers raised concerns Friday about a letter that a physician-legislator sent to doctors suggesting that they prescribe ivermectin and other medications that aren’t approved to treat the virus.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts said that the “unprecedented” letter from Kansas Sen. Mark Steffen carried no legal or regulatory weight but has caused “confusion and concern” in the Kansas medical community, The Kansas City Star reports.

Steffen, who is an anesthesiologist, said that health care providers will be shielded from the board’s “interference” in the letter that he sent last week on Senate stationery. The Hutchinson Republican said previously that the board is investigating him.

In the letter, he cites the recent Senate passage of a measure that specifically authorizes doctors to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, among other drugs, to treat COVID-19. But the proposal remains bogged down in negotiations with the House.

The board wrote in response that nothing in state or federal law prohibits the off-label prescribing of FDA approved drugs. But it said doctor are bound to follow the standard of care, which is determined by what a reasonable physician would do in a situation.