As more lawmakers were pushing for the use of Ivermectin against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) said it is better to wait for the results of the studies being conducted by other countries on the efficacy and safety of the anti-parasitic drug for COVID-19.
DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya said while they are open to any possible drugs that could be used against COVID-19, public health and safety should always prevail.
“Kami naman po ay open sa lahat ng posibleng gamot na puwedeng gamitin para sa COVID-19. Alam naman po natin na kailangan na kailangan natin ang gamot na makakatulong para maibsan ang kahirapan ng mga pasyente na may COVID-19 at magamot po sila (We are open to any possible drugs that could be used for COVID-19. We know that we badly need drugs that would help ease the suffering of our COVID-19 patients and they will be treated) ,” he told Dobol B TV in an interview.
He said so far, there is no enough basis showing that Ivermectin can be used as an effective drug against COVID-19.
“Ang paniniwala po natin ay hintayin po natin yung resulta ng mga matatapos na pagaaral na ito na ginagawa sa iba’t ibang bansa dito sa Ivermectin at makikita natin kung talaga ay ito ay useful. Kung useful naman po I’m sure ang ating FDA (Food and Drug Administration) ay titingnan ito with a favorable outcome para ito ay maaprubahan (We believe that we must wait po for the results of the studies being conducted by different countries on Ivermectin which are to be concluded and we can determine if it is useful. If it is useful, I’m sure the FDA will look into this with a favourable outcome so that it can be approved),” Montoya said.
On Wednesday, April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials to determine its efficacy against COVID-19.
In a virtual press briefing, Dr. Soccoro Escalante, coordinator of WHO-Western Pacific Region’s Essential Medicines and Health Technologies said “there is no direct effect or any mechanism of any antiviral action against SARS-CoV-2”, citing current evidence on Ivermectin.
The Department of Health (DOH) and the FDA maintained that they were not recommending Ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.