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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

29 March 2021 01:00:33 PM

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has authorized the House Committee on Health to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to disallow the use of anti-parasitic drug called Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infections.

Health Committee Chair and Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan scheduled a hearing on March 30, Tuesday, to tackle, among others, the move of FDA to prevent the use of Ivermectin despite its potential and promise as a drug treatment for virus in other countries.

“The Committee on Health will hold a virtual public hearing on Tuesday because we want to know what causes the skyrocketing spike in cases, we want to know the status of the government’s contact tracing efforts, and we want to know what treatments are available out there so we can save as many patients as possible from this deadly disease,” said Tan, who is a medical doctor.

Last March 25, 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Enrico Pineda filed House Resolution No. 1684 seeking an explanation from the FDA regarding its decision on Ivermectin and for Congress to enact regulations that will ensure the FDA and the Department of Health (DOH) will consider all possible cures for COVID-19.

Citing clinical trials conducted in many countries, Pineda said Ivermectin was found to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on infected patients when used with vitamins and supplements.

“While we understand the prudence being exercised by the FDA, this is quite an unprecedented international health emergency,” Pineda said. “There are actual studies and publications endorsing the effectivity of Ivermectin as treatment for those infected by the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps we should do more exhaustive studies before dismissing what could potentially be a life-saving drug.”

He said Ivermectin is also considered cost-effective compared to other repurposed COVID-19 drugs, such as Remdesivir, which costs P28,000 per vial and must be administered twice daily until such time that the patient is discharged.

“Ivermectin costs only around P35, to be administered once daily for three days—totaling to just a little over P100,” Pineda said.

According to Pineda, Ivermectin has shown so much potential and 22 percent of the world, including India, South Africa and Latin American countries, is already utilizing it as COVID-19 treatment and prevention.

The party-list lawmaker also cited a manuscript prepared by American physician Dr. Pierre Kerry, president of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, recommending that “Ivermectin should be immediately and globally deployed in prevention and treatment of COVID-19.”

“Ivermectin as treatment and prevention for COVID-19 should be looked into and eventually allowed by the FDA and DOH, and that production of the same drug should be allowed for human consumption,” Pineda said in the resolution. #