A reader writes that “Big Pharma wants you to believe ivermectin will not prevent or treat COVID but IT WILL!” Is this true or false?

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A reader writes that “Big Pharma wants you to believe ivermectin will not prevent or treat COVID but IT WILL!” Is this true or false?

Another reader wrote me that “Big Pharma wants you to believe ivermectin will neither prevent nor treat COVID, but IT WILL!” [emphasis is his] Is he right. Could this be true? Could a simple medication be repurposed to either prevent or treat COVID-19?

Another reader wrote to say, “Dr. Walt, you HAVE to watch this video. It’s from an actual ICU nurse who had treated many COVID patients. who presents an extremely good case for the prophylactic use of Ivermectin to prevent COVIS and makes the case that if her patients who died from COVID had been given ivermectin, most or all would be alive today.” He then adds, wisely, “That is, if her facts are true.”

What does the latest science actually say? Here’s what I wrote to these friends:

Thanks for sending the videos. And, yup, I don’t put a lot of stock in most anything she says.

The most recent evidence-based review of ivermectin for COVID

The most recent evidence-based review of ivermectin for the prevention of COVID, and, in my opinion, the most trustworthy source of information on evidence-based medicine, the Cochrane Collaboration, in a review titled, “Ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID‐19,” reported that before their review, “Currently, evidence on ivermectin for prevention of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection and COVID‐19 treatment is conflicting.” After reviewing the data, they concluded, “No evidence is available on ivermectin to prevent SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.”

This has led the CDC to update their information on ivermectin for the prevention of COVID by answering the question, “Can Ivermectin prevent Covid?” this way, “There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of Ivermectin as a preventive measure against COVID.”

Be aware of not just misleading information, but actual fraudulent studies

I’ll briefly review the most recent data on ivermectin prophylaxis of COVID below, but first I want you to be aware that the alarming issue of highly biased and even fraudulent studies has now risen.

My dear friend and a wonderful Christian brother, Dónal P O’Mathúna, PdD, with whom I’ve written three books on alternative medicine and natural medicines for Christian audiences, has authored a 2002 article titled, “Ivermectin and the Integrity of Healthcare Evidence During COVID-19,” Donal noted, “This article will focus on the scientific literature and how apparently fraudulent studies were published and influenced treatment decisions, on-going research, and public health guidelines.” He added, “The readers of health research must carefully evaluate all publications. To detect and reject fraudulent healthcare claims, readers need critical appraisal skills that match their level of engagement with those articles.” You might find his warnings and teachings instructive.

But don’t some real studies show ivermectin works to prevent and treat COVID?

Yes, there have been studies that have reported that the prophylactic use of Ivermectin was effective in preventing COVID, while others have not seen a prophylactic effect. Which are accurate?

In medicine, the “he said, she said” conundrum is common. To try to discern truth, physicians and scientists turn to meta-analysis and systematic review. In short, “Systematic reviews and meta-analyses present results by combining and analyzing data from different studies conducted on similar research topics.”

What do these types of studies say about the prophylactic use of ivermectin to prevent COVID?

An early 2021 study, titled, “Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19,” concluded, “Results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin.”

While another early 2021 review, titled, “Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of Patients with SARS-CoV-2: A Living Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” concluded, “There is no sufficient available data to suggest ivermectin has a prophylactic effect.”

A mid-2021 study, titled, “Ivermectin for Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” concluded, “There is limited evidence for the benefit of ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment and prophylaxis, and most of this evidence is of low quality. Further evidence is needed to fine-tune potential indications and optimal treatment protocols for ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.”

More recent studies teach us even more about ivermectin

As more studies became available, we learned more about ivermectin prophylaxis.

A February 2022 study, titled, “Ivermectin for the prevention of COVID-19: addressing potential bias and medical fraud,” reported, “Four studies were included in the meta-analysis. One was rated as being potentially fraudulent, two as having a high risk of bias and one as having some concerns for bias.” Even so, In this meta-analysis, the use of ivermectin was not associated with the prevention of RT–PCR-confirmed or symptomatic COVID-19. The currently available randomized trials evaluating ivermectin for the prevention of COVID-19 are insufficient and of poor quality.”

A December 2022 publication, titled, “Effect of Ivermectin prophylaxis in prevention of COVID 19: Meta-analysis and systematic review,” concluded, “We conclude that Ivermectin is not the ‘magical silver weapon’ against COVID-19.”

Then, a November 2022 publication, “Ivermectin’s Role in the Prevention of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” was a bit more positive, concluding, “Prophylactic ivermectin did not prevent COVID-19 in the postexposure population. Although the protective effect of ivermectin was shown in the overall and preexposure populations, the results were unreliable owing to poor-quality evidence.” This was because, “4 RCTs and 4 cohort studies with a moderate to high risk of bias were included in the analysis.” In the study they explain this further.

An August 2023 review, titled, “Repurposed drug studies on the primary prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the pandemic: systematic review and meta-analysis,” which looked at the studies on ivermectin and others, reported, “Ivermectin did not significantly reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (RR: 0.35 (95% CI 0.10 to 1.26), I2=96%) and findings for clinical outcomes were inconsistent.”

Ivermectin: a twisting tale of misinformation

A February 2023 editorial, titled, “A twisting tale of misinformation: should ivermectin be approved as a treatment for COVID-19 disease?” Addressed the growing concern about fraudulent studies, warning, “Our own Meta-analysis on the effectiveness of ivermectin revealed that by removing trials with a high risk of bias, the findings tended to point to the medication’s ineffectiveness. Further studies have also shown the enormous positive effect of including high-risk and fraudulent studies on the pooled effect size for assessing the efficacy of ivermectin in both treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Such erroneous findings threaten the practice of evidence-based medicine, challenging physicians and preventing patients from receiving the most effective and appropriate treatments.”

Dr. Walt, what is your opinion? What is the bottom line?

So, in my opinion, the overall evidence to date shows that ivermectin has not been effective for the prevention or treatment of COVID. But I, and many others, will continue to watch as ongoing studies are being performed around the world on both of these questions.

I hope you’ll find this information helpful.

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2024. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.







  1. Robert G says:

    Dear Dr. Walt,
    Thank you so much for bringing an objective informed perspective on difficult issues. It is hard to know who to trust with an internet full of so many voices, but your training and record of integrity allows us all to listen and reconsider our ideas.
    Your voice is a needed ministry in so many ways.

    Robert G

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