Twitter habits at the FDA are under fire in court from medical professionals. The feds are fickle about their COVID-19 assertions and continue going back and forth on new claims. To backtrack, the feds deny their influence on social media to avoid liability for violating statutory limits on interfering with medical judgments.
Over the past two months, FDA commissioner Robert Califf has gone on a Twitter posting spree about boosters and antivirals, such as the Paxlovid vaccine. His Twitter rampage is causing significant irritation from leading doctors.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown said recently that the FDA’s social media posts are the most bothersome after the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the agency’s false representations of ivermectin have made it difficult to treat patients.
You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it. https://t.co/TWb75xYEY4
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 21, 2021
The lawsuit in June cited several of the FDA’s tweets referring to the use of ivermectin. The social media statements were written informally and meant to be recommendations that doctors and consumers could ignore. The FDA emails show the agency celebrating their viral tweet “You are not a horse,” while reports surfaced that people who took the livestock version of ivermectin were hospitalized.
The three doctors involved in the lawsuit accused Califf of making statements that even pharmaceutical companies are not legally allowed to make. National Academy of Medicine member Marty Makary pointed out that if Pfizer were responsible for the tweet, they would be fined for false advertising. University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Vinay Prasad piggybacked off of Makary, saying that the FDA serves as a free marketing team for Pfizer while peddling outright lies.
Pharma Intelligence writers question unspecified scientists for fueling unfounded skepticism of the new drugs like Paxlovid. Many say the research holes exist because the FDA authorized vaccines without proper protocol.