President Duterte has ordered a swift study on the efficacy of a de-worming drug ivermectin against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and vowed to pour in money to fund the research for it.
In his speech Monday night, Duterte said there is a need to determine the efficacy of ivermectin, which he called cheap and accessible.
“Many people told me. I said, they swear by their fathers’ graves that it is really effective to fight COVID-19. So the earlier the studies are completed, whether or not it has the efficacy to fight COVID-19, is important because it is cheap and easily available,” the President said.
The President also assured state researchers that the government has allocated funds for the study.
Duterte noted that while he cannot say whether ivermectin should be used to treat Covid-19 patients, “credible” people have testified the drug was efficacious against the novel coronavirus.
The President 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. I just want to know if there’s an application and if you have clinical studies already,” he said.
Dr. Eric Domingo, director general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the clinical trials led by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health will start this month.
Last April, Duterte has also ordered the Department of Health to hold clinical trials for the use of controversial drug ivermectin to treat coronavirus patients.
The clinical trials would study how Ivermectin reduces symptoms or length of hospital admission among trial participants compared to other treatments being used.