Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to delete its most viral social media campaign of all time, which includes the infamous “You are not a horse” tweet and similar social media posts, as part of a settlement with three doctors in Apter v. Dep’t of Health and Human Services. The doctors, who are represented by Boyden Gray PLLC, sued to stop the FDA from giving unlawful medical advice about the off-label use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. 

“Today’s settlement with the FDA is a major win for the doctor-patient relationship,” said Paul E. Marik, M.D., FCCM, FCCP, one of the doctors in the case. “It vindicates our position that the FDA overstepped its regulatory authority by trying to dictate appropriate medical care.”

The Fifth Circuit previously held that the FDA “has identified no authority allowing it to recommend consumers ‘stop’ taking medicine” or to otherwise give medical advice, even in “tweet-sized doses.” The court further emphasized that the “FDA is not a physician. It has authority to inform, announce, and apprise—but not to endorse, denounce, or advise.”

Boyden Gray PLLC provides clients with strategic counsel, regulatory engagement, and impact litigation on the most difficult issues across law, public policy, and politics. The firm advises clients—including corporations, shareholders, trade associations, and workers—across a range of sectors, including energy, financial services, healthcare, and nonprofit. Its attorneys are experienced litigators, and the firm regularly represents clients before federal trial and appellate courts, including parties and amici before the Supreme Court of the United States. 

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