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Arkansas doc accused of prescribing cow pills for Covid-19 to jail inmates

“An Arkansas jail has been found to be prescribing an animal parasite medicine to inmates to treat COVID-19,” The Hill reported on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 (read story here; for a local TV station’s report with more detail, go here).

Rightwing social media promotion of the drug, ivermectin, has led to numerous calls to poison control centers (details here). Earlier this week, the FDA issued a public warning that said, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” (See story here.)

A member of the county legislative body said she learned that Dr. Robert Karas “had been giving the drug ivermectin to inmates at Karas Correctional [Health],” which contracts with the county to provide health care to jail inmates.

She said Dr. Karas also prescribed invermectin for a county employee who tested negative for Covid-19 and charged him $76 for the pills at a pharmacy he owns. The employee’s own doctor “quickly instructed him to throw the medicine away.”

Dr. Karas (bio here) owns clinics in Fayetteville and Lowell, Arkansas. His website’s homepage (here) features “Medical Marijuana Card Assistance,” and his Covid-19 information page (here) claims “we are keeping up to date with all the recommendations from the CDC,” but his masking advice does not conform to CDC guidelines.

He says: “Wearing a mask when you are not sick doesn’t really help, so save the masks for the sick people, as they are in short supply at the moment.” The CDC says (here), “You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick.”

Early in the pandemic (April 2020), Dr. Karas was interviewed on a local TV variety show (video here; I haven’t watched it, so you be the judge).

Update (8/27/21): The Arkansas Medical Board has opened an investigation into Dr. Karas’ prescribing practices (story here).

In other news: A Florida hospital removed a doctor for offering to sell mask exemptions to parents of schoolchildren (story here).

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