Defensor to distribute Ivermectin to Quezon City residents
MANILA, Philippines — AnaKalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor will give Quezon City residents access to Ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug that some people claim can help prevent or treat COVID-19.
Defensor confirmed to INQUIRER.net on Monday that he will be giving away Ivermectin, prioritizing senior citizens and those who are sickly.
He also announced on Facebook that he will distribute Ivermectin for free to Quezon City residents while COVID-19 vaccines remain unavailable to the general public.
“Sagot ni Cong. Mike Defensor ang IVERMECTIN niyo habang wala pa ang bakuna,” read the Facebook post.
“Uunahin muna ang mga may sakit, ang mga senior citizens habang limitado pa ang suplay ng IVERMECTIN,” it added.
Sagot ni Cong. Mike Defensor ang IVERMECTIN niyo habang wala pa ang bakuna.Uunahin muna ang mga may sakit, ang mga…
However, such a move by Defensor comes even if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Health (DOH) earlier cautioned against the use of Ivermectin to address the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
FDA said it has not approved the animal drug for the treatment of viral infections in humans although it also said that those who want to use it may apply for a compassionate special permit.
Likewise, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it does not back the use of Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, saying it does not have statistically significant evidence of efficacy against the new coronavirus disease.
It even cautioned that prescribing Ivermectin against COVID-19 at this point may be “harmful” as it could give “false confidence” to the public.
The use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 has recently sparked debate among Filipino medical practitioners. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug commercially available only in veterinary grade in the country.
Some physicians have vouched for its efficacy, urging the government to make it available to COVID-19 patients unable to gain entry to overcrowded hospitals.
Last week, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said in a House committee on health hearing that only topical creams containing Ivermectin used for treating head lice and rosacea were commercially available here.
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