DOST to proceed with ivermectin trials, urges critics to have ‘open mind’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will push through with the clinical trials of ivermectin for human use against COVID-19 amid opposition from some medical groups.
“It doesn’t change our position. The fact that we are doing research means that we want to answer the question of whether it will be of benefit to Filipino patients,” said Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.
Montoya defended the move from critics saying that while similar trials have been done in other countries, the tests will show whether there will be different results on Filipinos.
“It will be good for us to document the local experience of Filipino patients, how they respond, whether they will have adverse effects which were not identified or described in the other trials, and what proper dose will they take,” he added.
Different medical groups have warned against the use of Ivermectin on COVID-19 patients, citing its potential side effects on health.
But Montoya said that the trials will contribute to basic question of whether or not the drug will work on Filipino patients.
“Let’s have an open mind,” he told critics of trials, adding: “Let science work, let science provide evidence, because science is the objective basis for what works and one does not work.”
“We are not swayed by emotions, we are not swayed by opinions. It’s objective, it’s what science will do to us.”
According to Montoya, the clinical trials will be looking at what the “optimum” or best dose of ivermectin will be appropriate to Filipinos.
The trials will make use of what Montoya described as the “classic” randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, which will determine if the drug can reduce the number of days the patient will experience symptoms, and if it will prevent them from developing severe cases.
He added that the doses will be determined on the body weight of the patient, with 200-micrograms per kilogram for low-dose, and 400 micrograms per kilogram for high-dose.
The DOST will also target volunteer non-severe patients of COVID-19 for the clinical trials, according to Montoya, citing the huge number of infected under the category, and that they will benefit the most if the results are good.
Those included in the non-severe category are mild, asymptomatic and non-severe cases, he pointed out.
The department added the test will run for eight months, including the data analysis, with the results to come out in the first quarter of 2022.
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