Congressmen and health experts moved on Wednesday, July 21 to ask the Supreme Court to step into the Ivermectin controversy as they stressed that the medicine could help address the grave threat brought by the Delta variant to public health.
However, bad weather prevented the pro-Ivermectin advocates led by Deputy Speaker and 1Sagip Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor from filing the petition for mandamus asking the High Court to direct the Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration to include Ivermectin as among the authorized COVID 19 treatment.
The two solons want the court to order government to authorize the distribution and prescription of Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug for humans and animals that reportedly can be used to treat and prevent infection of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID 19).
The SC announced the suspension of work apparently due to the floods brought about by rains triggered by typhoon Fabian.
The petition will be filed as soon as work in the judiciary resumes within the week, Marcoleta and Defensor announced during a virtual news conference.
Defensor said they have decided to seek judicial intervention as it has become evident that the Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration will not allow more Filipinos threatened with COVID-19 to access Ivermectin.
“Its about time we file a case before the Supreme Court because we feel that the dreaded Delta variant will be hitting the country soon either by August or early September,” said Defensor.
He noted that the more deadly and highly transmissible Delta variant will threaten more the masses because most of them do not have access to Ivermectin that has to be prescribed by doctors before it can be purchased.
“It also limits local government units to procure the medicine for their constituents because of the stand of DOH that it is not recommended for treatment of COVID 19,” lamented Defensor.
In deciding to file the SC petition, Marcoleta stressed that this is a legal remedy available to citizens to compel government to act in addressing the on-going public health crisis and make a fair consideration of remedies and cures that are readily available.
Marcoleta, a lawyer, said they want the SC to direct both DOH and FDA to allow the use of Ivermectin among the treatment protocols for COVID-19, pointing out that its efficacy and safety against the dreaded disease are supported by numerous trials and studies by international health experts.
“Why is the DOH or FDA continuously ignoring the total body of evdience existing in the world now. These two agencies are very subjective when it comes to Ivermectin,”he said.
Dr. Benigno Agbayani, president of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDCPh), said there has been a noticeable delay in DOH and FDA action on the use of Ivermectin.
“Nakakaawa naman ang ating bansa. Mahina na nga ang rollout ng vaccine, puro naman tayo quarantine at lockdown na hindi tumatalab (Our country is in a pitiful situation. While vaccine rollout has been very slow, we rely too much on quarantine and lockdown that are ineffective),” said Agbayani.
On the other hand, Dr. Raffy Castillo stressed that there should be no fatalities to COViD 19 if only citizens are given the right medicine like Ivermectin.