LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania doctor has been terminated from Tower Health after allegedly mass-prescribing Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, two drugs not approved for the treatment of COVID-19.
Tower Health confirmed the termination of Dr. Edith Behr’s employment with the hospital amid the allegations reported by abc27 on Wednesday night, Feb. 2.
“Tower Health became aware yesterday of the allegations involving Dr. Edith Behr prescribing Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. We investigated the matter and, as a result, Dr. Behr’s employment with Tower Health Medical Group has been terminated effective immediately.“
Tower Health affirmed that “neither Ivermectin nor Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment for COVID-19.”
Tower Health released an updated statement on Friday, Feb. 4, to abc27.
“Tower Health became aware on February 2, 2022 of the allegations involving Dr. Edith Behr prescribing Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. Neither Ivermectin nor Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment for COVID-19.
While a licensed physician may prescribe approved medications for “off-label” purposes, the prescribing process must adhere to the requirements of medical licensure, as well as Tower Health Medical Group policies, including the physician conducting an appropriate patient history and assessment, including allergies and potential medication interactions, and documenting dosage amount, timing, etc. in the patient’s medical record.
Our investigation determined Dr. Behr did not meet these requirements and, as a result, Dr. Behr’s employment with Tower Health Medical Group has been terminated effective immediately.
Tower Health encourages all eligible individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to practice appropriate masking and social distancing. These are the best options for discouraging the spread of the virus, and to minimize risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death. We will continue to follow recommendations from the FDA, CDC, and other health authorities in the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.“
Dr. Behr was accused of mass-prescribing the drugs commonly used to treat parasites and Malaria. Accusations made against Dr. Behr were tied to a Facebook live on the Taste of Sicily Facebook page where a woman said she had a doctor who could help people get access to “H” and “I” to treat COVID-19.
“A Taste of Sicily in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania is actually a back door for prescription written by a mysterious doctor for COVID,” alleges TikTok user named “Danesh.”
The Lebanon County District Attorney says her office “received phone calls and emails which made various complaints against Taste Of Sicily; the majority of those were done anonymously.”
A pharmacy that allegedly provided Ivermectin to individuals who received prescriptions from Dr. Behr released the following statement amid the claims made on TikTok:
“Due to ongoing harassment received from outside sources toward our company and staff, we are deciding to discontinue compounding unique, patient-specific oral dosage forms of the drug ivermectin. As a compounding pharmacy, we are here to help any patient whose doctor determines that they are a candidate for a customized treatment option. We look forward to continuing to work with our patients and providers in the same ethical, legal, compassionate way that we always have. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
abc27 reached out to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office. They tell us they cannot confirm or deny an investigation into the Taste of Sicily restaurant.
abc27 also reached out to Christine Mason of Taste of Sicily who said she does not want to do any interviews at this time.
The Pennsylvania Department of State handles licensing for doctors and pharmacists.
Press Secretary Grace Griffaton says “The Department of State cannot confirm or deny whether any licensee is under investigation or whether a complaint has been filed against a licensee. Regarding the general investigative process, people can be assured the Department investigates every potential violation it becomes aware of, whether that is through a complaint filed directly to the Department, a notification from local law enforcement, or media reports, and efforts are made to review all relevant evidence.
Each licensing board considers potential violations on a case-by-case basis, weighing all individual circumstances. Civil penalties could include, but are not limited to: probation, continuing education, fines, and suspension or revocation of the license. Compliance or warning letters could also be issued.
If a complaint leads to disciplinary action against any licensee, associated documents are made publicly available in [(www.pals.pa.gov)]the licensing database or through the BPOA prothonotary’s office.”