Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday those who want to take Ivermectin against COVID-19 like himself should be free to do so, as he considered launching a legislative inquiry into the anti-parasite drug.
Sotto expressed frustration over opposition to Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment since it was being used in other countries for that purpose. The Senate leader said he had not experienced adverse effects from taking the drug every two weeks.
"Merong mga bansa na approved ito, merong mga bansa na gumagamit nito. Merong mga doktor na nagre-recommend nito, merong mga doktor na hindi," he said. "Ang sinasabi ko, yung gustong gumamit, hayaang gumamit."
"Kapag ganito ang takbo ng isip nila at ganito ang dating nila as far as the issue is concerned, I will be tempted to come up with a privilege speech about it so that a Senate committee hearing can be conducted thereafter," Sotto told reporters in a video call. The inquiry could come after sessions resume on May 17, he said.
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Both the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said Ivermectin is not recommended for treating viral infections. The agencies said self-medication using Ivermectin could be harmful and taking the drug for "compassionate use" should have an accompanying valid prescription.
Sotto said those who want to take Ivermectin should be allowed to do so. As he put it, "to each his own."
The FDA earlier granted permits to select hospitals to use Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment for "compassionate use." FDA Director General Eric Domingo also said a clinical trial to test the efficacy of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 is ongoing, and the public should wait for its results.