DOH: Ivermectin still not for COVID-19 treatment
MANILA, Philippines — The antiparasitic drug ivermectin is still not recommended as a treatment for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) reiterated Friday.
DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said this after the British Ivermectin Research Development (BIRD) sent a letter asking the Philippine government to adopt the use of ivermectin for the early treatment of COVID-19.
Vergeire said the DOH has responded to the said letter and reiterated that ivermectin is still not recommended for COVID-19 treatment, citing the latest research.
“Based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials we do not recommend the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. It has not proven to significantly reduce mortality, nor to improve other clinical outcomes,” Vergeire said while reading the DOH’s response letter to the BIRD.
“Right now the medical consensus is that there is no evidence to support the use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19. While the DOH is not against the use of investigational drugs, we emphasize that in using products under investigation, the safety of every Filipino should take utmost precedence,” she added.
Vergeire said their recommendation will be updated as more evidence is generated from the ongoing ivermectin trials.
“We must always put the safety of Filipinos first before showing the use of medicines in the country. So rest assured that the DOH and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are at the forefront of ensuring COVID-19 drugs and medicines are safe, effective, accessible, and affordable for use,” Vergeire said.
“Here in the Philippines we do not have any approved prophylactic medicines for COVID-19,” she added.
Vergeire reminded the public that the “best way to protect ourselves” for now is to stay healthy, continuously practice the minimum public health standards, and get vaccinated.
Two members of the House of Representatives asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to compel the DOH and the FDA to issue a certificate of product registration and license to operate to companies engaged in the manufacture and distribution of ivermectin as treatment for COVID-19.
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