Sotto: Is there a foreign influence against the use of Ivermectin

Published May 6, 2021, 2:06 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto IIII on Thursday said it is possible that people might be tempted to suspect that foreign influence is behind the reluctance of country’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to grant emergency use authority of Ivermectin as cure of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

On a query during a Zoom briefing for Senate reporters, Sotto said other countries have undertaken clinical trials for Ivermectin and the result is that it is safe for human consumption based on ‘’living testimonies.’’

Asked whether FDA’s resistance to giving emergency use authorization (EUA) for Ivermectin is because of possible influence by big foreign pharmaceutical firms, Sotto replied:

‘’Posible di nakakapagtakang nagiisip ang mga kababayan natin na may pumipigil, again common sense, may magdududa (It is possible that people would suspect there is foreign influence, again common sense, there is suspicion).’’

Clinical trials for Ivermectin may take six months, it was gathered.

The Philippine government has set aside tens of billions of pesos for the purchase of foreign-made vaccines for COVID-19.

Latest reports show that all it takes to fight COVID-19 is five Invermectin tablets, taken daily. A tablet costs P35.

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had publicly admitted having taken Ivermectin and that he has not felt any side effect.

Congressman Mike Defensor has given away some Ivermectin to some constituents in Quezon city.

Sotto himself stated that he takes Ivermectin every two weeks.

Asked whether he feels any side effect, Sotto said he knows of many who have taken Ivermectin, adding that he himself is a living exhibit.

‘’Wala naman ako nakikita adverse effect (I don’t feel any side effect). As a matter of fact, ang lakas ng katawan ko (As a matter of fact, my body is strong),’’ he added.

‘’May mga clinical trials that will take months, paano nila nasabing masama, samantalang ibang bansa sabi okay yung for human consumption version (There are clinical trials that take months but how could they say it is bad for humans but other countries said its human consumption version is ok),’’ Sotto told reporters.

Pressed that Ivermectin is not proven safe, Sotto replied; ‘’Proven sa ibang bansa (it has been proven in other countries), may (there are) living testimonies’’.)

As COVID-19 infection is still high in the Philippines, Sotto said FDA could just ask for copies of clinical trials on Ivermectin in other countries.

Sotto said what he could not understand is why does FDA sometimes gives immediate approval on the use of other medicines but is very slow on others.

‘’Akala ko ba wala pang test (I thought there are no tests)? ang ibang bansa may test na, paano nila nasabi na ang ganun ay may adverse effect (In other countries have conducted tests and how could they say there are adverse effects?). baka lang (It just might be),’’ he pointed out.

‘’I might be tempted to come up with a privilege speech (when the Senate resumes regular session starting May 17),’’ he added.

‘’Napakaraming gamot pagkain na ginagamit ng mga tao na di dumadaan sa FDA bakit all of a sudden init na init sila sa ivermectin (There are many medicines being taken by people that did not pass through FDA but all of a sudden it is so hot on Ivermectin),’’ he pointed out.

He asked aloud why FDA allowed the use of Ivermectin by selected hospitals.

‘’Ano bang pinagmamaktol nila, tapos may balita milyun milyon halaga ng gamot inaaprub nila tapos itong 35 pesos ayaw nila (Why is FDA on tantrums? There are reports that it has approved millions of pesos worth of {COVID-19} vaccines but refuses to give a go-signal for an Ivermectin tablet worth P35?),’’ he asked.