Dr. Scott Barbour participated in the forum with America’s Frontline Doctors in Washington, D.C., last week. Their video promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine, school reopenings, and ending lockdowns went viral in real-time. It was almost immediately censored by several big-tech companies, who said that the information shared violated guidance from the WHO, CDC, and FDA.
This assertion about hydroxychloroquine is kind of a smokescreen. While it is true that major studies were canceled after a study was published in The Lancet, which concluded that administering hydroxychloroquine is dangerous, in a stunning move, The Lancet issued a retraction, saying that the “veracity of the data underlying this observational study could not be assured by the study authors.”
Dr. Barbour has trouble articulating just how unprecedented this is. To have a peer-reviewed study retracted by respected journals is stunning and disturbing. He is afraid it indicates some level of corruption in the publication process. It is also strange that once these studies were retracted, the guidance from the health agencies did not change.
As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Barbour decided to do his own homework when the pandemic became apparent. Some of his patients could not wait, and he decided to keep his offices open. In light of that decision, he focused on keeping his staff, patients, and family healthy.
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In the course of his research, he came across several studies on hydroxychloroquine from the outbreak of SARS. Familiarizing himself with the research, how the drug works, and the similarities between the virus that causes SARS and the one that causes COVID-19, he became confident this was a viable option to keep his employees, patients, and family healthy. Since then, he has found over 50 studies that show the benefits of early outpatient use for SARS and COVID-19. They are shared on his Twitter profile.
Barbour also became familiar with Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, who was an early user of the drug in combination with azithromycin and zinc. According to his research, the drug was safer than Tylenol and had been broadly used in children and pregnant women for decades. When Barbour had a patient or staff member with COVID-19, he prescribed the drug combination, and there have been no issues. Also, no hospitalizations or deaths.
His confidence in the research and his own experience in staying open during the pandemic was one reason he joined the other doctors in Washington, D.C. However, Barbour is just as concerned about the censorship of medical opinions and government action to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. In Barbour’s view, there should never have been a controversy about this medication, let alone the coordinated attacks on it.
His opinion was bolstered by the paper published by Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvery Risch. Risch’s review of the research on early and outpatient use in COVID-19 arrived at the same conclusion Barbour and the other doctors at the conference had reached. According to Dr. Risch’s analysis, the drug, used early and outpatient beginning early in the pandemic, could have saved nearly 100,000 lives in the U.S.
While Barbour has not had an issue prescribing the medication, he has heard from colleagues in other areas of the country whose licenses are being threatened. Other doctors are having pharmacies refuse to fill their prescriptions. Many doctors who work for hospital systems have been told they are not allowed to prescribe the medication.
According to Barbour, this is unprecedented:
“As a matter of the law doctors are able to prescribe an FDA-approved medication as they see fit based on patient presentation. As long as it is the FDA approved dose, there is no restriction on off-label use and it happens all of the time. That governors, pharmacy boards and medical boards are interfering with this for the first time in history is big concern.”
Further, he eschews the need for double-blind placebo studies in the outpatient setting.
“If I told you there was medication supported by dozens of studies that is safer than Tylenol that is likely to help prevent serious complications from the virus you are likely suffering from, why wouldn’t you take it? This medication has been given for malaria prevention, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus for years. There was never any recommendation to do an EKG first.”
During his trip to Washington, he learned from administration officials that there is a significant amount of hydroxychloroquine in the strategic stores. What Barbour would like to see is for governors like Georgia’s Brian Kemp, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott in Texas to sign executive orders reaffirming a doctor’s ability to prescribe it independently, under the law as it stands today, without restrictions. Eventually, he would like President Trump to do the same.
Then Barbour would like to see the drug distributed to these governors and provided directly to doctors to be given as samples to those who may need it for illness or want it for prevention. This method would ensure the preservation of the doctor-patient relationship without state boards putting restrictions on hydroxychloroquine that seem to be based more on politics than science.
You can hear Dr. Barbour’s full interview in hour two of the Daily Dose podcast.