MANILA – The distribution and promotion of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin as treatment of coronavirus in humans is a violation of the law, a health official warned Wednesday.
At an online briefing, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the drug is not registered for human use, in reaction to the move of some lawmakers who have been promoting the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients.
There were also reports about the distribution of the anti-parasitic drug to the sick and elderly residents of Quezon City.
“The most important law violated in this supposed dispensing of Ivermectin is the RA [Republic Act] 9711 which is the FDA Act of 2009 and specific to that law, unregistered medicines hindi natin pwede ipagamit sa ating mga kababayan (we can’t allow the public to use them),” Vergeire said.
“Nakalagay doon sa batas natin sa (Under the law) RA 9711 manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, promotion or advertising or sponsorship of health protocols without proper authorization of FDA is prohibited,” she added.
The Food and Drug Administration had approved Ivermectin but only for animal use to prevent heartworm disease and treat parasite infestation.
“We would just like to advise the public na kapag hindi po rehistrado ang gamot na ite-take ninyo (if the medicine is not [FDA-registered]), the government cannot assure that this is safe for you and that this is going to really protect you from that specific disease, apparently, must be the action of that medicine,” Vergeire said.
She added that only doctors and healthcare professionals are allowed to dispense drugs.
“‘Yung pag-dispense ng ating gamot dapat mga doctor at healthcare professionals ang gumagawa hindi pwedeng ordinaryong tao ang nagdi-dispense ng mga gamot na ito (Second, doctors and healthcare professionals should be the ones to dispense these medicines, not just ordinary people),” she added.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque advised Ivermectin advocates to wait for the FDA’s compassionate use approval before advising the public of its benefits especially for those suffering from Covid-19. (PNA)