Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco is hoping that lawmakers who are planning to distribute the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin have reflected on their decision.
“I am not sure about the consequences of their decision. I trust that they have reflected their decision over and over,” he said in an interview Wednesday, April 28.
House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Mike Defensor are planning to launch this week their Ivermectin distribution program in Quezon City.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reiterated that only hospitals given compassionate special permits by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) can give the Ivermectin to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.
“The only ones that can use ivermectin are those hospitals issued CSP. Aside from them, no others can distribute ivermectin since it is not yet registered in the country,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual forum.
At least five hospitals have already been issued with CSPs for Ivermectin use.
Ivermectin has not yet been approved as a COVID-19 treatment by the DOH, FDA, or even the World Health Organization (WHO).
Vergeire said according to experts, Ivermectin have “very low evidence” that it can help COVID-19 patients that have mild to moderate symptoms.
“We suggest against the use of Ivermectin of COVID-19 patients because of the very low quality of evidence existing internationally,” she said.