"I am writing about Ivermectin based on what I have read and from what medical doctors have explained to me."
Last Saturday, the Philippines registered its highest single day cases of Covid-19 infection at 7,999, just one short of eight thousand. This was a day after registering 7,103 cases; on Sunday, there were 7,757 new cases.
Just hours before the Department of Health posted the daily tally of COVID-19 cases on its website, rumors circulated that the clinic or house of a certain Dr. Allan Landrito, who had just delivered an online talk on the use of Ivermectin against the dreaded COVID-19 virus, was raided by personnel of the DoH, who confiscated boxes of the so-called miracle drug.
A text message which circulated later reworded the report to “visit.” I will discuss that later.
First of all, I am not a medical expert and I will not claim to be one. I am writing about Ivermectin based on what I have read and from what medical doctors have explained to me.
The DoH and the Food and Drug Administration have warned us against using Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug saying the sample size of its use against COVID-19 is relatively small and is not really enough to conclude. This, aside from the fact this medicine is used for animals.
Whoa! Is FDA deliberately misleading the public by omitting one very important fact: That there is a human-grade Ivermectin?
Anyway. If the argument is the small sample size, then why did the FDA then give “compassionate permit” to those who would want to avail of the very expensive Remdesivir which reportedly cost P2,000 per course, for their COVID-19 treatment?
How effective really is Ivermectin and what is its most glaring advantage against other expensive medication?
First, according to some people I have interviewed, it only costs P50 a tablet (or capsule) and they take it only once every two weeks, as prophylaxis or for prevention; or one tablet a day for four days for treatment of COVID-19.
Now, on the issue of its effectiveness. Last January, after making a passive recommendation of neither for nor against the drug, the National Institute of Health of the US upgraded its recommendation on Ivermectin, making it an option for use against COVID-19.
To substantiate the drug’s effectiveness, All-Indian Institute of Medical Sciences of Bhubaneswar, India’s Dr. Batmanabane avers that there was a time that “at least 20 to 25 of their health care workers were getting infected with the virus daily.”
But after the workers started taking Ivermectin, the number of infections came down to one or two per day.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also shared their study which showed favorable results.
“Patients are dying, while over a billion doses have been used since the 1980s of this very safe medicine. Perhaps with this change, patients won’t need a court order to get a lifesaving drug,” according to AAPS executive director Dr. Jane Orient.
The Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance are also in full support of the drug saying “Ivermectin is one of the world’s safest, cheapest and most widely available drugs.
“The studies we presented to the NIH revealed high levels of statistical significance showing large magnitude benefit in transmission rates, need for hospitalization and death,” says Dr. Pierre Kory of the FLCCC, who, by the way, was a resource for the US Senate Congress on COVID-19.
In fact, countries around the world are now adopting Ivermectin as treatment for COVID-19. Slovakia became the first country in the European Union. It was then followed by Mexico City, Haiti and Peru, In Brazil, India, Turkey, Poland and Dominican Republic, data are being studied.
Our own Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines also shared their position on Ivermectin saying that as of today, “22 percent of the world is already using Ivermectin to successfully fight COVID-19. Multiple studies and meta-analyses confirm the effectiveness of Ivermectin, a safe oral drug used for over 40 years for other illnesses in humans,” citing the summary of scientific evidence on Ivermectin versus COVID 19 from Ivmmeta.com.
An article published in the Manila Times states that “pros” in using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 actually outweighs the “cons.”
According to the article, “the argument that the original use was veterinary, or that the purpose was for parasites, should not even be raised as cross species usefulness or utility of drugs different from the original research intent is so common it should not even be raised, although adapting studies should be prioritized. Dosage and abuse issues are true for all drugs and are easily addressed by advice rather than by not taking up the issues.”
“Almost all eventual proven drugs start with observations and case testimonials, plus there are many theoretical bases for Ivermectin to be useful. All drugs can be dangerous if abused. Like almost all proven effective herbals or remedies that are widely available and unprofitable for pharmaceuticals to do extensive tests on, this widely available drug is not a priority for pharmaceuticals or institutions,” the article points out.
Ironically, this is true. Has the DoH and the FDA or any other government agency recommended the study or use of tawa-tawa in treating dengue? But many doctors, including our children’s pediatrician have been recommending its use ever since.
Small sample trial? Again, we go to the FDA’s compassionate permit for Remdesivir. Or better yet, why not hold a clinical trial for Ivermectin? Isn’t it the DoH’s and FDA’s refusal to hold clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccines has deprived us from being one of the first recipients of the vaccine?
Actually, FDA has been notorious for sitting on applications for its accreditation. Remember the rapid test kits which it sat on for a few months before giving it a thumbs up? At that time, other countries were using those kits for mass testing.
While this is not connected to the COVID-19 issue, this information fed to us by a source would show how incompetent FDA is when it comes to application for accreditation. The following are just three of the medicines pending approval from the FDA: (a) Erysaa (20200110163926) - Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agent (ESA); Submitted: Mar. 03, 2020; Status: For evaluation (awaiting approval from FDA).
(b) V-lief (20190607101533) Cough Syrup; Submitted: June 18, 2019; Status: For cross evaluation (awaiting approval from FDA.)
(c) Hemo Rid (Shelf-life Extension (20201007123034) Vasoprotective; May 2020 – disapproved; Resubmitted: Jan. 12, 2021; Status: For Pre-assessment
So, what has the FDA and DoH been doing all along? Keeping affordable treatments away from the reach of the ordinary people?
As I have mentioned earlier, text messages circulated regarding the raid on the warehouse of a certain Dr. Allan.
The message reads as follows: “Guys, I just got word that the DOH raided the warehouse of Dr. Landrito to confiscate and stop the sales of Ivermectin. This is the height of heartlessness. They are protecting the pharma industry to the detriment of the welfare of the people. How many people will get sick &/or die of Covid due to this?”
A few hours later, a re-worded message circulated:
“Yesterday one of our doctors suddenly received a surprise visit from the FDA, after which he was asked to stop dispensing Ivermectin. Because a Government agency has asked us to do this and because disobeying that agency could put our Doctors in legal peril, we regret to announce that we will be forced to comply.
But we cannot just stand by and watch as our people are deprived of this life-saving medication. And so we are asking that you write, text or call Congress, the Senate and the Office of the President to let them know that you want access to this safe and effective drug that could prevent you and your loved ones from catching COVID-19.
Please also write, text or call FDA Head Eric Domingo and remind him that his job is to ensure that the country can readily avail of the best and most efficacious drugs possible and that Ivermectin is one of these, as demonstrated by its four decades-long safety record.
The FDA can best serve the country at such a time as this by immediately working with Dr. Allan Landrito and prioritizing his application for a License to Operate, after which a Certificate of Product Registration should be granted for Ivermectin. The FDA can further truly serve the Filipino people by allowing the fast-tracking of the permits of responsible and reliable toll manufacturers to begin to produce Ivermectin capsules locally,” the message read in full.
It's high time the DoH and the FDA revisited the issue of Ivermectin and conduct real tests on its effectiveness. The more they dilly-dally, then the more they put the lives of the people in danger. And they cannot escape responsibility for whatever would happen to them, much more from the blood that would blemish their hands.
If they cannot, then they better resign. If not, then they have to be prepared when the clock strikes 12:01 on June 30, 2022 when they become ordinary mortals again.