City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Ricardo Panganiban said he is not recommending the use of controversial Ivermectin and Lianhua as a cure to COVID-19.
In the question hour of the City Council’s regular session on Monday, May 17, Panganiban said that they are not promoting the use of these medicines although there are doctors using them to treat coronavirus disease-infected patients.
“As a society ay hindi in-iendorse ang gamot na ‘yon. Kami ay naka-base din sa guidelines, and officially, ay hindi namin nire-recommend na gamitin,” Panganiban said.
But while he does not recommend it, Panganiban added that it still the decision of an attending physician if he or she will prescribe the use of Lianhua and Ivermectin.
Lianhua Qingwen is a traditional Chinese medicine that is said to be effective in treating pneumonia
“Nasa discretion yon ng doctor, bawat doctor naman ay may kanya-kanyang discretion naman, nasa sa kanila ‘yon. Kung ano man ang mangyari sa pasyente ay panghahawakan nila ‘yon,” he added.
Recently, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) clarified that Lianhua Qingwen is a drug approved by FDA in the Philippines but is not registered as medication for COVID-19.
In April this year, President Rodrigo Duterte also ordered DOST and DOH to conduct study on Ivermectin as cure for COVID-19 following DOST’s announcement that they would conduct clinical study on the medicine, according to the FDA Director General Eric Domingo in a virtual presser and reports online.
At the Senate, Resolution Nos. 697 and 698 were filed by Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Manny Pacquiao requesting for the study on the efficacy and to look for definite findings on the use of the medicines.
Revilla said the quality of the medicine cannot be guaranteed while its License to Operate and Certificate of Product Registration still pending before the FDA since February.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also said recently the evidence for the use of ivermectin as a cure for COVID-19 remains inconclusive until more data is available.
WHO added that ivermectin is a anti-parasitic agent that used for the treatment of many types of parasitic diseases such as strongyloidiasis, and scabies.