Duterte on Ivermectin vs. COVID: It's Up to Doctor and Patient

"I leave it to the doctor-patient relationship."
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday that use of ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment is up to the patient and their doctor.

"Ako, really, I leave it to the doctor-patient relationship. If the doctor belives in good faith that it can help and the patient also believes in his heart that he well get well, we leave it up to you to decide," Duterte said in his address taped Friday night.

Ivermectin, an anti-parastic drug for animals, was being used by some Filipinos as treatment for the coronavirus, with some doctors prescribing it as treatment or preventive medicine.

Though studies have been conducted on its efficacy on COVID-19, findings supporting its status as an effective treatment are yet to be published.

"Nobody has published a medical journal which the doctors rely on na nagsasabi na all of these tests were conducted and the result is what is being laid down here," he said.

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Intake of the drug may have several side effects including diarrhea and vomiting.

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"If both doctor and patient believe that it can help that it will produce result, then sa inyo na yan. I leave it up to your discernment, kung tama ba."

Testimonies passed on in group chats and social media have spiked demand for the anti-parasitic.

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"For some people, it could be quite a good gamble to embark on," Duterte said. 

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