MANILA – Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday gave Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor the benefit of the doubt following reports that the lawmaker plans to give away Ivermectin to Quezon City residents.
Ivermectin is a veterinary anti-parasitic agent but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given it clearance for use in coronavirus patients.
“I am sure that as a lawmaker, Rep. Mike Defensor knows the FDA law very well and that he is very much aware of what acts are allowed and what acts are prohibited under the said law,” Guevarra said.
Defensor announced Sunday on Facebook that he will give away Ivermectin tablets to Quezon City residents while they await the vaccines.
“Sagot ni Cong. Mike Defensor ang Ivermectin niyo habang wala pa ang bakuna. Uunahin muna ang mga may sakit, ang mga senior citizens habang limitado pa ang suplay ng Ivermectin (Your Cong. Mike Defensor will supply you with Ivermectin while the vaccine is not yet available. I will prioritize the sick and the elderly),” his Facebook post read.
The FDA and the Department of Health said in previous statements that further studies and clinical trials are needed to prove Ivermectin’s effectiveness.
The United States FDA likewise said “Ivermectin is approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and for topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions.”
Ivermectin is not an anti-viral, the US FDA report said, and taking large doses is dangerous and can cause serious harm. (PNA)