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Ivermectin prescription fill rates among U.S. Military members during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

MSMR 2024 January 21
This report describes ivermectin prescription fill rates among U.S. active component service members (ACSM) over time during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about the unsubstantiated benefits of ivermectin for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) prevention and treatment was widely available online early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Ivermectin prescription fill rates increased among ACSM during periods of Alpha and Delta coronavirus variant predominance, but not during the predominance of the Omicron variant. At the peak of the fill rate curve, in August 2021, rates were higher among men compared to women, older compared to younger age groups, senior officers compared to junior officers, senior enlisted compared to junior enlisted service members, and those with a bachelor's or advanced degree compared to those without a bachelor's degree. Ivermectin prescriptions were more likely to have been filled at a retail pharmacy than at a military hospital or clinic. During the COVID-19 pandemic fill rates for ivermectin prescriptions among ACSM increased, including those without a qualifying diagnosis. Rates peaked in August 2021 but subsequently declined. The decrease in ivermectin fill rates was coincident with vigorous efforts to correct previous misinformation and implement pre-authorization requirements for prescriptions. Research on the impact of unproven online claims about clinical and public health interventions has potential to curtail future unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.

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