When Hugh Hewitt was exposed to COVID, his doctor quickly prescribed Ivermectin, which he had not heard of. The use of Ivermectin for COVID is the subject of a great deal of discussion. Dr Pierre Kory is a proponent of its use. A transcript of the interview is reproduced below.
HH : As I have told my audience, two members of my production team have COVID. I was exposed last week. My doctor of 20 years prescribed Ivermectin, which I’m taking. I had never heard of the drug. Not long thereafter, I received a very great deal of research about Ivermectin, and a recommendation that I talk to Pierre Kory, a critical care physician and lung specialist who has testified to the Senate on early outpatient treatment as an essential part of COVID-19 solution. He is a member of Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, and he joins me now. Dr Kory, welcome. Thank you for your work in taking care of the COVID-afflicted. Thank you for your advocacy of efficacious and immediate outpatient care. Why is Ivermectin good?
PK : Oh, thank you. Appreciate you asking me to come on. And why is it good? Because it works. You know, we have been searching for that medicine that could be effective, and in early outpatient, right? So many things have been tried. I think a lot of folks, even doctors, the health care systems, they’re dejected, right, because a lot of medicines were purported to work, and unfortunately, they’d been very disappointing. But the story about Ivermectin is it couldn’t come at a better time. We need another tool in our tool kit to battle this pandemic. And the data behind Ivermectin is just, it’s just rapidly increasing. I mean, it’s thoroughly convincing that this is going to be a highly, highly effective drug against COVID.
HH : Now I have an official toxicologist of the Hugh Hewitt Show, a retired PhD from Johnson and Johnson who wrote back to me, I hope it gets tested, Ivermectin. I’m in favour of providing Ivermectin to folks who want it and don’t have an option for one of the approved regimens. If they can get an approved regimen, I’d go with that until such time data on Ivermectin are available. How confident are you without double blind trials of Ivermectin’s efficacy?
PK : So, we have to correct that misimpression. It’s, there are numerous trials. So, my manuscript, which just passed through peer review and it’s going to be published in a pretty prominent medical journal in the next coming weeks, I reviewed 27 controlled trials. 16 of them are randomized, controlled trials. Five of them are double blind, and one is single blind. So, we have numerous trials from centres and countries around the world. In the 27 trials, they include over 6,500 patients. In the randomized controlled trials alone, over 2,500 patients. And so what I think people are misinterpreting is that the health care system is built around this idea that you need a single, large, what’s called multi-centred, double blind, randomized controlled trial, typically run by a pharmaceutical company or an academic medical centre. And that is what Ivermectin does not have behind it. However, it has probably a superior alternative, which it has numerous, numerous, and rapidly increasing trials whose numbers are now approaching that of a single big trial. And so when you see the data signals repeatedly coming out of each trial of different sizes, different countries, different designs, different stages of illness, and they’re reproduceable and consistently positive, that’s actually a stronger data signal than one single even large trial, because there are faults that you can do even with a large trial. So, it’s actually, what we are seeing is we are doing what’s called meta-analyses, where you combine all of the results from individual trials into a large analysis. That is actually considered the highest and most powerful form of medical evidence. In our meta-analyses, and we’re not the only one, there’s at least three or four groups who have done meta-analyses around the world showing just really massive, potent effects and benefit.
HH : Now Dr. Kory, speak to the doctors who are listening, and there are many. We have six million people in the audience, and more listen online. Why should they prescribe Ivermectin to their patients who have been exposed, but not yet demonstrating symptoms? I have subsequently been tested and proved negative with two tests, but my doctor urged me to continue my Ivermectin regime. What is your advice to these doctors? What ought they to do?
PK : So, number one, read our manuscript. So, it’s on our website, which is www.flccc.net. The answer to that question is if you look at the categories of trials, there’s a whole bunch of them. We have actually eight controlled trials on prophylaxis. So, when you give Ivermectin to people who’ve been exposed, or even before exposure, we’re finding almost none get sick. The numbers who actually contract COVID-19 are minimal. In fact, there’s some studies where nobody got sick, even in large studies around Ivermectin. So, it’s showing this profound preventative ability. And that’s largely due to the fact that it has this really powerful antiviral property where it binds to the spike protein. And we think it blocks entry into the cell, and that’s why people aren’t getting sick. So, one is the prevention data is probably the strongest. Then, you have early outpatient treatment. It’s preventing people from getting worse and going to the hospital. Mr. Hewitt, our hospitals are filling. You know that. You know, last week, we had 130,000 patients in the hospital. We need to offload the health care system. We need to prevent deaths. And this massive consumption of resources as well as the burnout amongst my colleagues in medicine, and so we now have a drug that can do that. And then even in the hospital, we’re seeing dramatic reductions in mortality rates. And the thing I want to tell the doctors that are listening is I know you guys have heard this before. I know you’ve heard that the latest drug is going to, you know, cure COVID. And you know what? It has not been true. And I admit scepticism is due here. Be sceptical but look at the data. You will be surprised. This data is completely different than the data for any other therapeutic. Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t even come close. And let’s remind ourselves, hydroxychloroquine was adopted without data. It was only after the trials come out that we ended up abandoning it. It was adopted widely. Ivermectin is the opposite. We’re not adopting it, and the mountains of data are accumulating for it is really now insurmountable. I mean, you have to look at the data.
HH : Doctor, what is the recommended dose of Ivermectin? And in a second part, are there side effects of which people should be aware that would disqualify them as a candidate for even a useful prophylactic drug as you consider it to be?
PK : Yes. First, I want to say that you know, it’s not just me, right? So, I’m part of a group that’s called the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. And we were brought together by Dr Paul Marik, whom, you know, he’s our leader. We’re all friends with Paul and colleagues. And when he brought us together, we’ve been working hard at reviewing just tons of data on every aspect of COVID. And we’ve come up with treatment protocols. I will say, to answer your question, we have spent a lot of time thinking about dosing and dosing strategies. And our strategies have evolved with the data, because this is all relatively new in the last couple of months is when all the trials kind of hit a critical mass. And our most recent protocol is on our website.
HH : So Doctor, I want people to understand your credibility. It’s the reason I brought you on...
PK : Sure.
HH : ... is that you are an advocate for masking. You are an advocate for social distancing. You are an advocate for the vaccine. You’re a highly-credentialed critical care pulmonary specialist. You are not fringe. You are mainstream. Are those fair statements?
PK : Yeah, so can I say how, we’re the opposite? So, if you look at Paul Marik and the group he put together, and I am so honoured to be part of this group, I didn’t know my colleagues before we formed this group. And the group that I’m a part of, so Paul Marik, he’s the second-most published intensivist in the world. His contributions to the care of the septic shock patient and insight into fluid management and sepsis is unparalleled in history. One of my other colleagues, Dr. Umberto Meduri, he’s one of like the pioneers and fathers in non-invasive ventilation in critical illness, as well as the study of cortical steroids in lung injury and other critical illness states. I mean, he is a huge, you know, one of the fathers of critical care medicine. And Dr. Joseph Varon as well, his impact on a number of different therapies, and you know, I’m probably the youngest in the group. I’m 12 years out of training. But I’m actually pretty well known around the world for an expert in what’s called critical care ultrasonography. I have a book that I put out which has been published into seven languages. And so we’re really well known in our specialties. So it’s true, we’re not fringe doctors. We have almost 2,000 publications between us.
HH : And you do support masking and social distancing?
PK : Oh, yeah. I mean, I wrote about masking in an editorial over the summer. And so, if you look at our protocols. I mask, plus.
HH : So, let me ask the key thing that I want doctors to hear. Are there some people who should not take it because of their health profile and underlying conditions?
PK : No, there are not absolute contraindications to this medicine. There’s a couple of drug interactions. So, for instance, patients on immune suppressants or transplant patients, they should consult with their doctor about dose adjustments. And there are some drug interactions where you might need to modify the dose. But there’s no absolute contraindications. It’s safe. Even, everyone thinks it’s bad on the liver. It’s metabolized by the liver, but it does not injure the liver. It’s totally safe. No dose adjustment is required in liver disease. It’s never caused liver failure. There’s one case, or two cases of hepatitis in its 40-year history.
HH : Is there enough, we’re running low on time, so is there enough of it in the world?
PK : Yeah, it is easily compoundable, and it could be ramped up. I mean, it’s widely used. It’s widely used, and it could be produced more.
HH : Last question. Are people listening, Dr Kory, about your advice on Ivermectin? And the website again, please?
PK : So, it’s www.flccc.net. So, it’s Frontline COVID Critical Care, so www. flccc.net. And our recommendation, and we believe that the health authorities will follow, we know that the WHO and the NIH are looking at the data. We believe that WHO is likely to be first. They have, they’re massing tons of data from randomized controlled trials, and it’s all showing consistent, positive, statistically significant benefits in almost every outcome you want – prevention, early deterioration, it reduces, and survival, it increases. And so, it’s a profoundly effective medicine for this disease.
HH : Dr. Kory, I will do my best to make sure that your experience and your recommendations are widely disseminated. I appreciate you taking the time this morning. Good luck and thank you for all your service in high-risk wards. I know you have been going beyond fatigue and more to save lives. And you sort of represent all doctors, and I thank you.
PK : It’s what we do and thank you.
HH : I must tell you, friends, that was a coincidence. It was prescribed for me, and then I randomly got an email from a person I greatly respect who said this has got to get out there. I was already taking the drug, because I trust my doctor of 20-plus years. This is a very smart guy. And then I got interested in it. I’ve got no recommendation except that you explore it and read it and consult with your doctor.