In A Flash

Kansas senator under investigation after prescribing ivermectin for COVID-19

By: - January 26, 2022 1:38 pm
Kansas Senator Mark Steffen

Sen. Mark Steffen, R-Hutchinson, appears after a committee hearing Wednesday at the Statehouse in Topeka regarding his proposed legislation allowing doctors like himself to prescribe drugs for off-label use to treat COVID-19. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Sen. Mark Steffen revealed Wednesday he is under investigation for prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients, accused the chief medical director of the University of Kansas Health System of spreading propaganda, and challenged him to a public debate.

Steffen, a Republican and anesthesiologist from Hutchinson, introduced legislation that would give himself and other doctors the authority to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine without fear of reprimand. He prevented Senate Bill 381 from being published until late Monday night, then complained that a hearing was postponed Tuesday morning because it gave “the media a 24-hour head start.”

The model legislation, which also has been introduced in Tennessee, would require pharmacists to fill prescriptions for the off-label use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, even though health authorities say the drugs are ineffective in treating COVID-19 and could be harmful. Steffen said he intends to amend a provision in the bill that would grant doctors immunity from civil liability for any damages caused by the drugs.

Read more about this ongoing story from the Kansas Reflector.


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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal, where he started on the copy desk, then oversaw digital operations, was the managing editor and reported from the Statehouse. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.