The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said a new study found that antiparasitic drug ivermectin is not a viable option for treating COVID-19 patients.
Citing a study published June 28 by the Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said new evidence still does not support the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.
The study was a systematic assessment of the benefits and harms of ivermectin on COVID-19 patients. The researchers studied both published and preprint randomized controlled trials on ivermectin’s effects on adult and mostly mild COVID-19 cases.
The study found that in comparison to standard of care or placebo, ivermectin did not reduce all-cause mortality, length of stay, or viral clearance in the trials.
“Ivermectin did not have an effect on adverse effects or severe adverse effects. Ivermectin is not a viable option to treat COVID-19 patients,” it concluded.
Vergeire reiterated that the government’s pandemic response is hinged on scientific evidence, stressing the importance of allowing only safe and efficacious medicines.
“Kung makikita po natin na ang isang gamot ay magiging epektibo para sa COVID-19, hinding hindi po natin pipigilan ang paggamit nito sa ating populasyon,” she said.
(If we see that a drug is effective for COVID-19, we will not stop its use on our population.)
“Hanggang sa ngayon po hindi pa natin nakikita base sa siyensya at saka ebidensya na itong ivermectin ay makakapagbigay ng tulong para sa mga taong may COVID-19 dito sa ating bansa,” she added.
(Until now, science and evidence still do not show that ivermectin will help COVID-19 patients in our country.)
Some groups and lawmakers have long been insisting on the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.
The DOH and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, have also repeatedly stressed that data do not support the use of ivermectin on COVID-19 patients.
The World Health Organization, US FDA, European Medicines Agency, and ivermectin manufacturer Merck have likewise made clear that the drug is not recommended as a COVID-19 treatment.—AOL, GMA News