MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has committed PHP22 million for the conduct of clinical trials on the use of ivermectin for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Ang DOH po ang nag-commit ng PHP22 million para sa ivermectin clinical trials and ito po ay inaasahan natin na makapagpo-provide ng data sa efficacy, safety, and the effect on the viral clearance of ivermectin among asymptomatic and non-severe Filipino patients (The DOH has committed PHP22 million for the ivermectin clinical trials, which could provide us with data on the efficacy, safety, and its effect on viral clearance among asymptomatic and non-severe Filipino patients)” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña told President Rodrigo Duterte late Wednesday.
Clinical trials are expected to start by June which would run for eight months, he said.
The DOST is targeting to get ethical approval and to recruit the staff who would administer the clinical trials this month.
He said it would probably take six months before they could get 1,200 adult volunteers. Clinical trial participants should be 18 years old and above and must be asymptomatic or mild to moderate cases.
The project team, led by Dr. Aileen Wang of the University of the Philippines-Manila, is also coordinating with the Philippine Red Cross and other facilities to find volunteers.
Earlier, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) executive director Jaime Montoya said having the ivermectin clinical trial aims to determine the best treatment options for Filipinos as well as the proper doses that they should take.
A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial will be done, which may help health experts to determine if the drug can reduce the number of days the patient will experience symptoms, Montoya said. (PNA)