THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a hospital’s application for the compassionate use of antiparasitic drug ivermectin as potential treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), FDA Director General Eric Domingo said on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
"Ang pagkakaalam ko may isang ospital sa amin na nag-apply ng compassionate special permit for the use of ivermectin at ito po ay na-grant ngayong araw na ito," Domingo said in a televised public briefing.
Domingo did not identify the hospital to protect patient privacy.
He said the issuance of such a permit does not necessarily mean that ivermectin is safe and effective as Covid-19 treatment.
Ivermectin is approved in the Philippines for use as antiparasitic treatment for animals.
Domingo said applications filed by two local manufacturers for a certificate of product registration for the use of ivermectin in humans are still pending.
A certificate of product registration will allow manufacturers to sell the drug commercially.
"Ito lang naman po ang laging sinasabi ng FDA, hindi po kami kontra sa ivermectin, kailangan lang po na irehistro ang produkto at dumaan lamang po sa tamang proseso ng pagsiguro po ng quality ng gamot na makakarating sa tao," Domingo said.
In a television interview, former special adviser to the National Task Force Against Covid-19 Tony Leachon said there is no accountability in allowing compounding of ivermectin for human use.
“If you use that for compassionate use but not backed up by science, by the regulatory documents that is a very weak position. You will be held liable just in the event had side effects, even in the context that the patients gave a consent,” he added.
Earlier, infectious disease expert Edsel Maurice Salvana said high doses of veterinary drugs such as ivermectin could lead to brain damage and death. (SunStar Philippines)