NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee lawmakers voted Thursday to make ivermectin now available to those who want it to treat their illnesses, providing the governor signs the bill into law.
The bill comes from Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet to make the drug available over-the-counter. This would also remove liability for pharmacists dispensing the drug to Tennesseans. House members approved the measure 66-20. Lynn brought forth the bill as a way to treat COVID-19 in the early stages, she said.
Lynn said it is designed for patient consultation to seek "this historically safe medication that works well with viruses." She said this would be helpful to Tennesseans.
"They have been getting horse paste and ivermectin at farm stores," Lynn said on the House floor. "We don't want Tennesseans to feel that's what they resort to. This at-home care, which is where it's most effective. Don't run to the farm store."
The Senate voted 23-6 to approve the bill.
"It's a lot safer to go to your pharmacist and let him tell you how much ivermectin to take than it is to go to the CO-OP and guess what size horse you are,"
The bill received blowback from House Democrats on the floor for the vote, questioning how safe it was for Tennesseans to easily access the drug.
"I used to breed German Shepherds, and was able to buy it for them," Rep. G. A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, said. "I am concerned we are putting ourselves in the place of doctor-patient relationships. I am concerned if one goes to the doctor and the doctor offers medical reason on why they shouldn't be taken the drug. They may go on popularity and politics and end up having adverse effects. It worked well for me and my dogs. I am very concerned we are putting ourselves in the place of educated physicians."