DOST trusts FDA’s decision to allow compassionate use of Ivermectin

Published April 8, 2021, 7:49 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has faith in the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to allow the compassionate use of Ivermectin for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment,

“We trust FDA in their decisions. They are our regulatory authority for food and drugs,” DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña told the Manila Bulletin in a VIber message after FDA Director General Eric Domingo announced during the Laging Handa press briefing that his agency granted the compassionate special permit (CSP) application of a hospital for the use of anti-parasitic drug.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L.  Guevara, who leads the Task Group  on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), also welcomed the FDA’s decision.

“it is good that FDA has spoken on this matter as this has been discussed in many platforms,” she said.

The FDA, along with the Department of Health (DOH) had disclosed that that they were not recommending the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nina Gloriani, chair of the country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP), said rigorous studies should be conducted first before any drug is recommended for COVID-19 treatment.

She noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted randomized clinical controlled trials covering 2,400 participants all over the world. “Maybe we just need to wait [for the results],” she said during the Broadcasters’ Forum on Thursday.

Gloriani said the WHO was looking at four parameters on evaluating Ivermectin. She said it was seeking to determine if Ivermectin reduces mortality, lessens use of mechanical ventilation, and decreases hospital admission. Time to clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients was also included in the list of parameters, she added.

She explained that the scientific community is looking at other parameters before it concludes that a certain drug is beneficial.

“Meron po tayong sinusunod na proseso. Kung gusto po talaga nila puwede silang mag-apply ng totoong randomized clinical trial. Hindi po puwede na observation , hindi po anecdotal, kailangan po ay randomized clinical trial (We have to follow a process. If they really want it, they can apply for randomized clinical trial. It is not just observation, not anecdotal, it should be randomized clinical trial),” Gloriani said.