Doctors warned: Don’t prescribe ivermectin outside permitted hospitals or face prosecution
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) warned doctors not to prescribe the use of ivermectin outside permitted hospitals, reiterating that it is illegal and would result in prosecution.
PMA also reiterated that there is no evidence that the controversial drug works against COVID-19.
“PMA reiterates its warning that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) already cautioned that manufacture and dispensing of unregistered drugs would be prosecuted,” PMA said in a statement on Saturday.
“The unlawful sale of the drug product brought abroad but not registered with the FDA is also illegal,” it added.
The medical association pointed out that its own infectious medicine specialists have already reviewed case studies on the drug as a potential treatment and determined that it showed “low confidence certainty due to high risk of bias and low overall quality of evidence.”
“Its prescription as a prophylactic medicine against COVID-19 is strongly not advised,” PMA said.
This warning came after two lawmakers led the distribution of ivermectin on Thursday in Quezon City, despite warnings from health agencies.
The initiative drew flak when it was discovered that some of the prescriptions handed out to recipients did have the name of the prescribing physician and other vital information.
Since then, the Department of Health (DOH) and the FDA said that they will start endorsing reports of invalid ivermectin prescriptions to the Professional Regulation Commission.
The DOH earlier said that only hospitals with a compassionate special permit are allowed to distribute the drug.
Only five hospitals in the country have so far been granted such a permit by the FDA.
Currently, only topical creams containing ivermectin used for treating head lice and rosacea skin ailments are commercially available in the Philippines.
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