The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday recommended that ivermectin should only be used within clinical trials to determine if the anti-parasitic drug is effective in treating COVID-19.
Socorro Escalante, coordinator for essential medicines and health technologies of the WHO Western Pacific, said the recommendation stemmed from an analysis of available data on ivermectin.
“The evidence has shown that there is no direct effect or any mechanism of any antiviral action against SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes COVID-19] that currently exists,” Escalanta said in an online press conference.
“The effects of ivermectin on end points that are being studied such as mortality, prevention of mechanical ventilation, hospital admissions, duration of hospitalizations and viral clearance are all uncertain. It is very important to emphasize that at this point the WHO’s recommendation for this drug is not to use it except in the context of [a] clinical trial,” she added.
Some individuals, including lawmakers, have been pushing for ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 even if the drug is still unregistered for human use.
Anakalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor had even offered to distribute the drug for free for patients in Quezon City.
An application for compassionate use for ivermectin is still pending before the Food and Drug Administration, which recently warned the public not to purchase and use ivermectin veterinary products against COVID-19. — RSJ, GMA News