Amazon said it plans to block some autocomplete responses to address concerns over ivermectin, an unproven treatment for COVID-19, coming up as a suggestion when users type “iv” in the shopping platform’s search bar.
“Amazon’s autocomplete responses are driven by customer activity,” said Amazon spokesperson Craig Andrews in an email to USA TODAY. “We are blocking certain autocomplete responses to address these concerns.”
Some people have been taking veterinary ivermectin (a South African brand is pictured) to treat COVID-19 even though there’s no evidence that it works or is safe. Credit:AP
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite treatment for humans and animals, such as horses, which some people have misused to treat COVID-19.
When a user types “iv” in an Amazon search, the top results include “ivermectin,” “ivermectin for horses” or “ivermectin paste.”
However, when users search “ivermectin for humans” or “ivermectin for COVID,” they get no results, but instead find a message advising “against the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19” along with a link to the Food and Drug Administration website.
The FDA warning was issued following multiple reports of hospitalisations due to people “self-medicating” with the drug.
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