FDA says Duterte wants ivermectin undergo trials to test efficacy vs COVID
MANILA, Philippines — It was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who ordered the conduct of clinical trials for anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bared Tuesday.
“Si Presidente po mismo ang nag-utos noong Huwebes sa DOST [Department of Science and Technology] at DOH [Department of Health] na aralin,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said in a televised briefing, when asked on the clinical trials of ivermectin for COVId-19 treatment.
(The President himself ordered last Thursday to DOST and the DOH to study it.)
“Kasi nga po, marami rin siyang naririnig at nababalitaan na may mga sumusuporta at meron ding mga siyentipiko na nagsasabi na kulang pa rin ang ebidensya. So inutos niya po sa pamahalaan na aralin na rin,” he added.
(He must have heard a lot of things about it that many support it and many scientists also say the evidence is still lacking. So he ordered that the government also study it.)
It was during the pre-recorded meeting with the President aired Monday when DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña announced that the country will conduct clinical trials to determine if ivermectin is effective in treating COVID-19 patients.
Prior to this, the DOST said it saw no need for conducting such a clinical trial since similar studies are already ongoing in other countries.
“Actually, ang stand ng DOST dyan, napakarami nang clinical trial na nangyayari sa buong mundo at baka sa isang buwan lamang o dalawang buwan ay magkakaroon na tayo ng final evidence para malaman kung nakakatulong siya o hindi sa COVID-19,” Domingo said.
(The DOST’s stand is that many clinical trials are being held in the world and maybe in one to two months, we will have final evidence if it can help treat COVID-19.)
“Kaya lang po, si Presidente, gusto rin niya talaga siguro subukan sa ating mga Pilipino kaya po inutos niya sa DOST na aralin din po dito sa atin,” he added.
(But the President wants to try it for Filipinos that’s why he directed DOST to study it here in the country.)
The use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 recently sparked debate among medical practitioners. Currently, it is only commercially available in veterinary grade or for animal use.
The World Health Organization said it is not advocating the use of ivermectin in the absence of statistically relevant evidence of its effectiveness against COVID-19.
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