Ivermectin has gained public attention due to claims that the antiparasitic drug can help in COVID-19 treatment even though both global and local health authorities have warned against self-medicating with it.
And with some politicians advocating for its use, the Food and Drug Administration issued clarifications on when the use of Ivermectin--used to treat lice and worms in both animals and humans--is considered legal and illegal.
Here are the conditions provided by the FDA:
- Given a compassionate special permit
- Obtained a certificate of product registration
- Compounded for personal use in quantities corresponding to the prescription of a licensed physician
According to the FDA, when Ivermectin is treated as an investigational drug, liabilities and damages are shouldered by the compassionate special permit holder.
- Imported from other countries and/or compounded in an establishment without FDA authorization
- Sold or distributed as an unregistered drug
If illegally used, the FDA said it could not guarantee the safety and efficacy of the product.
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While clinical trials on the efficacy of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment are underway, both the FDA and the Department of Health have warned the public against using it to treat the virus.
"Based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials, the DOH does not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19," the agencies said.
Members of Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 also warned the public against the use of Ivermectin, calling on all healthworkers to "unite and protect" Filipinos using evidence-based management.
It should be noted too that the Philippines is also looking at the potential of Ivermectin to prevent and control African Swine Fever.