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The Department of Health (DOH) still does not recommend the use of veterinary anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Friday.
The health agency maintained its stance on the use of the drug, responding to a letter from the British Ivermectin Research Development group asking the Philippine government to consider using ivermectin for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
“Based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials, we do not recommend the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” Vergeire said, reading DOH’s response to the letter.
She noted that there is no proof that the drug can significantly reduce mortality or improve other clinical outcomes.
“While the DOH is not against the use of investigational drugs, we emphasize that in using products under investigation, the safety of every Filipino should take utmost precedence,” the health agency noted.
Vergeire also urged the public to maintain minimum health standards and get vaccinated to keep themselves healthy and protected.
Earlier, Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor asked the Supreme Court to compel the country’s health regulators to approve ivermectin as a treatment for the disease.
Marcoleta and Defensor, earlier this year, drew flak after distributing ivermectin capsules to Quezon City residents.