Doctors prescribing ivermectin urged to ‘follow up, document’ results
MANILA, Philippines — An official from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) urged doctors who are prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients to make sure that they follow up and document the results.
The statement comes after some doctors began prescribing ivermectin despite its off-label status and warnings from some medical groups on its use against COVID-19.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, told ANC’s “Headstart” that doctors who prescribed ivermectin to people are “responsible or accountable” for the person.
“We always have to remember that when you do that, it’s off-label, so you are responsible or accountable for that particular reason or indication. So, you have to follow up your patients closely and make sure that it is well documented,” he said.
He noted that while compassionate use of off-label products is a legal mechanism, it should only be for doctors and hospitals who applied for it, and “only for them, because it is not yet registered or approved in the country.”
According to Montoya, prescribing off-label products are “being done by doctors” based on “their better judgment,” but in general, “we want to recommend to all doctors – it has to be registered first by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) and based on sound evidence.”
Meanwhile, the official also stressed that the clinical trials on ivermectin use against COVID-19 will push through regardless of FDA approval.
“We will run the trial regardless [whether] there’s compassionate use or not because we are generating valuable information that will hopefully be used by the FDA in coming up with its decision,” he said.
Montoya also cited a World Health Organization (WHO) advisory stating that ivermectin can only be used to treat COVID-19 in clinical trials.
“So precisely, the WHO already said that to be used in a clinical trial setting. This is what we’re doing,” said Montoya.
“We are neutral, we are not for or against [using] ivermectin for COVID, what we’re doing is in fact to answer that question,” he added.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.