Pro-science consumer group president asks crucial question to Ivermectin backers

Science-savvy consumer advocacy group Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya Para sa Mamamayan (AGHAM) underscored on Sunday, April 25 a key difference between Ivermectin and Remdesivir, two popular drugs being repurposed for the treatment of the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"Remdesivir is OK since it’s FDA (Food and Drugs Administration)-approved," AGHAM President Angelo Palmones said.

Proponents of Ivermectin can't make this claim, however. "Ivermectin must first secure FDA approval and authorities must ensure that its unauthorized sale and distribution will not endanger the public." Palmones went on to ask a question to those pushing for the acceptance of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, "If indeed Ivermectin is a 'wonder' drug against COVID-19, how come India - that produces Ivermectin, has the most devastating surge today with the highest death rate globally. I don’t expect politicians to provide the answer," he said.

He further said that the pro-Ivermectin crowd shouldn't take advantage of "gullible" Filipinos on the subject of potential "cures" for COVID-19.

One huge advantage of Ivermectin over Remdesivir is its apparent cost-effectiveness. The latter reportedly costs around P28,000 a dose, while the former is a measly P35 a pop.

Palmones had earlier frowned on the "lack of science culture among Filipinos", especially with elected leaders, as the country grappled with the pandemic.

"Do we have scientists in the Senate or House of Representatives?" he asked in rhetorical question.