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Mike Defensor asks DOH to spare doctors who issued ivermectin prescriptions

Anakalusugan Party-list Representative Mike Defensor on Saturday asked the Department of Health (DOH) not to run after doctors who allegedly issued invalid prescriptions for the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin at a distribution project he and Rep. Rodante Marcoleta had organized.

Last Tuesday, Marcoleta and Defensor, despite not being doctors,  announced that they would distribute ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 on Thursday, April 29, in Quezon City.

Several physicians joined Defensor and Marcoleta's “community pan-three” project, and these doctors allegedly wrote prescriptions on blank pieces of paper instead of on prescription pads.

The Department of Health (DOH) said that such prescriptions were invalid and the matter would be "officially endorsed" to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to determine the veracity of the allegations and to “impose sanctions as deemed necessary, based on existing laws.” 

The Food and Drug Administration regulatory enforcement unit was also looking into the reports of invalid ivermectin prescriptions.

Meanwhile, Defensor said that he and Marcoleta should be the ones held accountable for irregularities, and not the doctors.

“If there was anything wrong with our distribution of this COVID-19 wonder drug ivermectin, we are the ones answerable, not our volunteer doctors and other medical practitioners who just wanted to help our poor people,” Defensor argued in his statement.

He added that ivermectin was an inexpensive therapeutic against COVID-19 compared to the medicines endorsed by the DOH and FDA such as remdesivir.

However, aside from the FDA and DOH, the World Health Organization itself and even ivermectin manufacturer Merck have repeatedly made it clear that there was insufficient evidence to support the anti-parasitic's use as a COVID-19 treatment. — DVM, GMA News