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Amazon Sellers Are Price Gouging Horse Dewormer Because People Want To Eat It

A $7 horse deworming therapy is commanding costs as excessive as $45 on Amazon due to unfounded claims that it’s a remedy for COVID.

Posted on September 17, 2021, at 2:15 p.m. ET

This tube of horse dewormer is promoting for $39.99 via a third-party Amazon vendor. Normally it prices $5 to $7.


This three-pack of horse dewormer is promoting for $92.20 via a third-party Amazon vendor. A single pack usually prices $5 to $7.

When Laura Harbin wanted to deworm her horses, it took her three journeys to a few completely different shops to search out ivermectin, an antiparasitic generally used to manage worms in horses. When she lastly discovered some, it price her $6.49 for a single-dose tube — nearly triple what she usually pays. “Everywhere [the price] has gone up. Feed stores, even online,” she informed BuzzFeed News. “It’s been laborious to search out in all places since final summer time, however it’s gotten worse.”

Harbin is hardly alone. Several other horse owners in a large Facebook group from around the country told BuzzFeed News that they have seen similar increases in ivermectin prices — $8 instead of $5, for example. That might not seem significant, but for someone like Hardin, who owns 15 horses who use it twice a year, it can add up.

Ivermectin has been used for humans for decades, particularly for tropical diseases caused by parasitic infections. In recent months, there’s been a surge of interest in the drug based on studies (one of which seems badly flawed) claiming it can prevent and treat COVID. The FDA has warned that ivermectin is not approved for COVID use and that trials are still ongoing. (So far, there is no evidence it is effective.)

But some people whose doctors have refused to prescribe ivermectin for COVID have resorted to taking the animal model. For horses, there are edible pastes in addition to liquids to ingest. Other animals take it in injectable kinds. The drawback is that the dosages for animals are completely different, and ivermectin may be poisonous if taken within the flawed quantity. The CDC lately reported that somebody ended up within the ER after consuming liquid injectable ivermectin meant for cows.

“A human is not a horse.”

“The dose is one thing. Formulation is another,” Dr. Martin Krarup Nielsen, a professor on the University of Kentucky who focuses on equine parasitology, informed BuzzFeed News. “A drug is distributed and metabolized in a certain way in a horse. The drug is formulated taking that into account. A human is not a horse, so the same drug will be distributed and metabolized very differently in a human.”

Yet, ivermectin continues to develop in recognition as an unproven COVID-19 cure-all, a lot in order that some shops are seeing shortages of a model of the drug meant for animals. One retailer has began requesting photo proof that the shopper owns a horse earlier than promoting the product.

Meanwhile, Amazon third-party sellers are cashing in.

Currently, a 0.21 ounce, apple-flavored tube from the model Duravet is promoting for $6.49 on Tractor Supply, a preferred farm and livestock product chain retailer. Online pet retailer has the identical product for $4.99, although it’s at present out of inventory. Another model, Bimectin, sells for $6.49.

But on Amazon, a tube of Duravet is promoting for as a lot as $44, or a three-pack for $99. Bimetcin now boasts costs as excessive as $33.50.

Laura Harbin

Laura Harbin’s horse Spirit. Harbin, who owns 15 horses, needed to go to a few completely different shops to search out the generally offered medication.

It’s frequent for Amazon sellers to record hard-to-find merchandise at increased costs, however with the very current surge in people desirous to strive ivermectin, the pricing is extra difficult. On one hand, it’s irritating for horse homeowners, however these horse homeowners usually tend to know the “real” worth of the product and search it elsewhere. It’s unclear what number of models Amazon sellers have really offered at these excessive costs, however what’s clear is that these sellers are leaping on the chance to make a giant revenue based mostly on the extremely harmful development of people consuming the paste.

“The fact that this amazing deals company is buying these and marking them up like this is absolutely disgusting. You should NOT be able to do this.”

The website, which tracks the value fluctuations of Amazon listings, reveals {that a} six-pack of Duravet paste, which had remained $22 for a lot of the yr, jumped up in price in late August, to as excessive as $277.

The worth of a six-pack of horse ivermectin has jumped from $22 in June to as excessive as $277 in early September.

A graph of the final three months of the value of a six-pack of Duravet ivermectin, from a website that tracks Amazon costs

In the shopper questions part for an inventory of a single tube, one particular person requested, “Why are you price gouging ?????????? These should sell for $4.99 each.” In the evaluations part, somebody wrote: “DO NOT BUY THIS FOR $50! If you own horses you know that these are at tractor supply for $5! The fact that this amazing deals company is buying these and marking them up like this is absolutely disgusting. You should NOT be able to do this.”


A buyer warns others to not purchase it at this worth.

Amazon has been pressured to take steps to counter deceptive claims that the horse formulation of ivermectin is a viable therapy for COVID-19. The firm lately added a disclaimer to veterinary ivermectin merchandise saying they don’t seem to be meant for human consumption. It can be removing reviews encouraging human use, and has blocked searches for “ivermectin for humans” or “ivermectin for COVID.”

A spokesperson for Amazon told BuzzFeed News that Amazon removes listings that violate its rules about fair pricing. It’s unclear if any listings for overpriced ivermectin have been removed.

And still people worried about COVID continue to purchase equine ivermectin at sky-high prices on Amazon. In the seller reviews for one third-party vendor who gives Duravet paste at a “reduced” worth of $69.99 for 3 tubes, one buyer wrote, “Get it while you can. Hell stock up it’s too expensive, but works.”

Correction: Updated to make clear Amazon’s guidelines on truthful pricing.

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