Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Eric Domingo said Monday that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will start its clinical trials this month on Ivermectin as a potential anti-Covid medication.
This developed as President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the clinical trials, citing narrative evidence of its efficacy against COVID-19 during his latest public address.
“Hindi sa pang-aano pero there are a lot credible people, doctors at mga civilian, na yang Ivermectin ay doing good to their bodies while they are suffering from COVID-19. Sa mga probinsya ay maraming nagsasabi na gumaling sila,” Duterte said.
Duterte also said the government is willing to release funds for the clinical trial of the drug.
“If it has efficacy to fight covid is important kasi mura at available. If it can lessen covid by 50 percent ay maganda na ‘yan. [Although] I am not in the position to say that it should and should not be used. Ang akin lang if there is an application at may clinical studies na, kung funding lang edi i-fund mo na lang. We can give you or replenish you the money later. Once and for all we can resolve this issue of Ivermectin,” Duterte added.
Domingo said the DOST will start its clinical trial for Ivermectin this month funded by the Department of Health (DOH).
According to the DOH, Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic preparation for animals which is also being used on humans for a particular parasite. Domingo said there is also a human preparation approved for sale in the country.
“Ang clinical trial po ng DOST ay to start ngayong June. Ngayon ay mayroon nang FDA approved na human preparation ng Ivermectin sa Pilipinas. May pinapayagan na tayong ibenta. May iba pang company na nag-apply at undergoing evaluation pa,” he said.
Domingo added that Philippine doctors are also helping in global efforts not only to develop vaccines but also to complete clinical trials of different herbal products as COVID-19 cure.
Currently, he said there are 25 ongoing clinical trials and approved by FDA including the use of Lagundi and Tawa-tawa.
“[Mayroong] local trials, multi-country trials including herbal products such as Lagundi and Tawa-tawa. [Mayroon din ang] melatonin, and other antivirals. All of the work force naman ng ating mga doctor ay tumutulong sa global effort towards developing and identifying therapeutics for COVID-19,” Domingo said.