A senior administration solon, who won his bout against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), called on government on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, to consider Ivermectin for the treatment for the dreaded disease, saying that the anti-parasitic drug could be the “game changer’ long awaited for by the world.
In a virtual zoom conference, 1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Enrico “Eric” Pineda urged the Department of Health and Food and Drugs Authority to consider international and local health experts’ findings and opinion about the properties of the drug as a prophylactic and even as a direct treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“This is a game changer, it could be the key to saving our country from further economic downfall,” Pineda told reporters of the House of Representatives.
“I am calling on the FDA to acknowledge and eventually, allow the emergency use of Ivermectin for treatment against COVID19. Of course, it should only be administered by a medical doctor, being a medicine intended for parasitic treatment,” said Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
Both the DOH and the FDA have issued warnings against the use of Ivermectin for humans, especially in the treatment of COVID-19, noting that the medicine is used for animals.
However, Pineda stressed that Ivermectin is not an exclusive drug for animals, saying that humans can take the anti-parasitic drug for certain diseases. “I think there is potential with this drug. In fact, it has been used already by many developed and third world countries, which has experienced success in controlling the virus,” said Pineda who recovered from COVID 19 last year.
He admitted taking the drug as a prophylactic, adding that it’s cost is far lower than any other recommended medicines against COVID-19.
He said Remdesivir, the current drug used to treat COVID-19 patients cost P28,000 per vial. It is administered twice daily until such time that the patient has fully recuperated or is ready for discharge.
Ivermectin only costs around P35 pesos and can be taken once daily in three days, to treat the disease.
“If an infected patient is confined at a hospital due to COVID19, one can only imagine the hospital bills a patient may incur, which they most likely would not be able to afford,” the legislator further said.
“I know of several doctors in our country who have been administering Ivermectin with a mix of supplements to COVID patients, and it has been their saving grace given the fully booked accommodations at hospitals. Many patients made full recoveries,” said Pineda.
He noted that the state of Virginia in the United States has already authorized the use of Ivermectin as prophylactic medicine against COVID 19.
“Last January, the National Institute of Health in the United States upgraded their recommendation for the drug, making it an option for treatment of COVID19 infection – a move that would pave way for the emergency-use approval of the US-FDA. In spite this, however, our country’s FDA and the DOH has ordered that it should not be administered to COVID patients,” said Pineda.