TX Medical Board Still Harassing Doctor

Dr. Mary Talley Bowden | Image by BreatheMD
Dr. Mary Talley Bowden | Image by BreatheMD

The ongoing legal action against Houston ENT Dr. Mary Talley Bowden has many Texans crying foul.

Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) recently posted a letter on X addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“Dr. Bowden has been the victim of the reckless actions of the Texas Medical Board,” reads the social media post. “The TMB violated the basic tenets of her due process rights. Why? Because she dared to use FDA-approved ivermectin and saved 6,000 lives in the process. @GovAbbott and @KenPaxtonTX, we need your help to stop this injustice.”

In the letter, he condemns the TMB for its “non-stop harassment campaign against Mary Talley Bowden for her efforts to treat patients with an FDA-approved medication.”

He claimed the board acted “in defiance” of Abbott’s leadership and SB 773, which the governor signed into law in 2023. Known as the “Right to Try” bill, SB 773 allows “access to certain investigational drugs, biological products, and devices used in clinical trials by patients with severe chronic diseases.”

In a recent interview with The Dallas Express, Bowden expressed appreciation for Toth’s support. She highlighted the numerous legal maneuvers TMB has allegedly employed to make the dispute last as long as possible, noting that there have been 13 pre-trial orders, a change of judge, and objections to her being able to call expert witnesses in her defense and to her attorneys being able to depose the other side’s expert witness.

Bowden told DX that TMB recently offered to drop the matter if she agreed to pay a $5,000 fine, retake the Texas Medical Jurisprudence Exam, and take several hours of continuing education.

“I found that insulting,” Bowden said, noting that the proposed fine was far higher than what she had seen colleagues face over more serious allegations. “If it was $100 or $50, maybe I would’ve considered it.”

Bowden rejected the offer. After some more legal back and forth, her trial, originally scheduled for this April, has been pushed back to later this year.

Her current legal troubles arose from the consolidation of two unrelated cases.

The first case concerns Bowden’s resignation from her privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital. In 2021, amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns, Houston Methodist began firing employees for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine months before any presidential mandate required them to do so.

Contemporaneously to Houston Methodist’s mandate, Bowden began tweeting about her belief that vaccine mandates did not work. She announced her intention to treat unvaccinated patients in her private practice. Subsequently, the hospital suspended her privileges at its facilities.

“I had never set foot in that hospital,” Bowden said. “I had those privileges in case of an emergency.”

“[Houston Methodist] did not even call me. I found out I was having my privileges suspended from a text I got from a reporter,” Bowden added.

True to Houston Methodist’s public approach to the matter, the hospital tweeted, “Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science.”

She subsequently severed all connection with the hospital.

In response, Bowden claimed Houston Methodist reported her to TMB for resigning while under investigation. Bowden was adamant that the rule allegedly forbidding this action was inapplicable to her situation for several reasons.

“That exists to prevent shady [dealings] … doctors doing something bad and then trying to flee,” Bowden said. “Houston Methodist has never provided any evidence I was under investigation. They’ve just said I was under investigation.”

The second case derives from a dispute with Texas Health Huguley Hospital. Bowden was engaged in litigation over her ability to treat a gravely ill patient whose wife sought her out because of her willingness to prescribe ivermectin, which Bowden had found to be highly effective in the thousands of cases of COVID-19 she had treated.

Huguley accused her of violating standards of care by prescribing medication to a patient with whom she did not have a prior relationship.

These legal disputes have dragged on since 2021, and it is unclear when they will be resolved. Abbott appoints members of TMB, and Paxton’s office gives it legal advice upon request. Publicly available records do not indicate that Abbott or Paxton have attempted to intervene.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) has joined Toth’s call asking Abbott and Paxton to intervene in the matter and “investigate and hold … TMB accountable for their abuse of a medical professional who saved lives!”

No matter the action the state’s top executives take, Bowden has been victorious in other recent legal disputes.

She recently sued the FDA over its campaign against ivermectin, which included social media posts that misled the public about the legality of prescribing the medication.

The federal agency had engaged in messaging that included slogans like “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” linking to an article titled “Why You Should Not Take Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”

It also tried to prevent pharmacies from dispensing ivermectin and insurers from covering its costs, despite the fact the FDA approved it for human use back in 1987 and doctors commonly use medications for “off-label” purposes.

Her lawsuit, which was brought forward with two other doctors, alleged that FDA statements interfered with her ability to treat her patients.

“After nearly two years and a resounding rebuke by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the FDA has agreed to remove its misleading social media posts and consumer directives regarding ivermectin and COVID-19,” Bowden said in a statement, reported The Texan.

DX asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about Bowden’s case before his appearance at the EarthX environmental conference in Dallas.

“All three of the principal health agencies [CDC, NIH, FDA] suffer from agency capture,” Kennedy responded. “I would say 50% of the FDA’s budget is from pharmaceutical companies. NIH scientists are allowed to collect royalties on drugs that they regulate –– which is clearly a conflict of interest.”

“The CDC … has devolved into an agency that primarily promotes the mercantile interests of the pharmaceutical companies,” Kennedy added.

Kennedy then laid out what he would do if elected president.

“I have litigated against all of these agencies, and I know the individuals in the agencies that need to be moved. … I understand the perverse incentives that put agency capture on steroids,” Kennedy said. “I will change those incentives and unravel the culture of corruption that now has turned these agencies against public health.”

Like her successful FDA lawsuit, Bowden has a pending defamation case that was first dismissed at the trial level and is now pending in front of an appellate court.

DX reached out to the communications team and the general counsel for the TMB, along with board members Sherif Zaafran, Sharon Barnes, Devinder Bhatia, Michael Cokinos, George De Loach, James Distefano, Kandace Farmer, Robert Gracia, Tomeka Herod, Robert Martinez, LuAnn Morgan, Jayaram Naidu, Satish Nayak, Manuel Quinones, Jason Tibbels, and David Vanderweide for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

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