President Duterte wanted the speedy completion of the study on the efficacy of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying many people have been waiting for it.
In his pre-recorded weekly public address on Monday evening, June 14, the President told Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo that it would be better to have the result of the study soon.
“The earlier the studies are completed, whether or not it has the efficacy to fight COVID-19, is important kasi mura at available (because it is cheap and available),” Duterte said.
“If it can lessen COVID-19 by 50 percent, maganda na ‘yan (then that’s good already),” he added.
Duterte added that money should not be the problem in conducting the study on the said drug.
“I am not in a position that it should or should not be used. Ang akin lang, if there’s an application at may clinical studies na kayo (I just want to know if there’s an application and if you have clinical studies already),” he said.
“If there is no… kung funding lang, ‘di i-fund mo na lang (if funding is the problem, then just fund it). We can replenish the money later so once and for all, we can resolve the issue of this ivermectin,” he added.
In response, Domingo told the President that clinical trials on ivermectin will start this month.
People have been claiming that ivermectin has been good in battling COVID-19. In April, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte has been keeping himself updated about the developments concerning the drug.
“The President is closely monitoring the developments concerning ivermectin here and abroad. He has even directed the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to give him weekly updates on Ivermectin studies and FDA-related clearance,” Roque said.
Duterte had likewise directed the FDA to take the lead in determining the course of action against the illegal trading or dispensing of ivermectin.