The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a hospital’s request to allow “compassionate use” of anti-parasitic drug ivermectin on humans with COVID-19, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said Thursday.
“Na-grant na iyong special permit for compassionate use [of ivermectin] kasi alam naman namin na investigational product ito against COVID-19. May isang ospital na nag-apply for compassionate use at na-grant na nga ng araw na ito,” Domingo said during Laging Handa briefing.
(The special permit for compassionate use of ivermectin on humans has been granted because we know that this is an investigational product against COVID-19. A hospital applied for such a permit and it was granted today.)
It is an anti-parasitic drug that is allegedly effective as COVID-19 treatment. It is often used as a laxative. There is human-grade Ivermectin and veterinary-grade Ivermectin or those just for animals.
In the Philippines, the only registered and sold species is that for animals.
Ivermectin granted compassionate use permit: FDA
However, the distribution of such drug as treatment for COVID-19 is still illegal, Domingo said in a separate interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
The FDA chief noted that only hospitals that were granted permit for ivermectin’s compassionate use for humans would be allowed to dispense the potential COVID-19 drug through a licensed importer.
“Yung ospital ang bibili, meron siyang licensed importer na magi-import para sa kaniya nitong gamot na ito na rehistrado sa ibang bansa,” he said.
The DOH previously stated that it does not recommend the use of Ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment. The World Health Organization says there is still insufficient evidence that it can treat or prevent a person from developing COVID-19.
“The WHO said it has to be used right, not only in the setting of a clinical trial. So this kind of dispensing and having the community use it is not a clinical trial… The clinical trial is a scientific process with very definite steps and based on scientific rigor. For us doctors, our mantra would be do no harm first. So this one is opposing all the scientist and medical principles that we have right now,” said DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.