Duque says Ivermectin use conditional; warns doctors who issue 'token prescription'


Posted at Apr 30 2021 04:21 PM

Duque says Ivermectin use conditional; warns doctors who issue 'token prescription' 1
Lawmakers lead distribution of Ivermectin to residents of Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City on April 29, 2021. The Food and Drug Administration recently allowed the distribution of human-grade Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without a compassionate special permit, as long as the drug distributed comes from the licensed facility with a doctor's prescription. Dispensing doctor should be responsible on the condition of the patient and must report effects of the medicine a month after treatment.

MANILA - Doctors who have issued token prescriptions for anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin should be made accountable for any adverse effect, the health secretary warned Friday, a day after lawmakers publicly distributed the drug. 

Francisco Duque III said while doctors can prescribe it for human use against the COVID-19 infection, they have to follow the protocol for which the compassionate permit was issued. Taking the drug with prescriptions that lacked details as prescribed by law is another story. 

“Ang ating batas malinaw [The law is clear]. All prescriptions must contain the name of the presciber, office address, professional registration number…dapat sundin ito. Hindi pwedeng token prescription lang,” Duque told ANC's Headstart. 

“Moving forward, the way to deal with this immediately is that the patients who received it can call up FDA (Food and Drug Administration) anytime for adverse reaction if any, and further advise. Yung doctor na nandoon na nag-prescribe will be held accountable in accordance with our statutes. Ang importante dyan may pananagutan ang doctor na nag prescribe,” added Duque. 

Duque said the FDA has issued compassionate special permit to hospitals that have applied for it. 

“So may conditions. There is an enumeration of what has to be done—patients name, everything, doses, anong side effects, anong positive effects. Number 2, FDA also authotizied the compounding of the ivermecting by authorized pharmacies and that there has to be a doctors prescription. If all these conditions have been met I don’t think there’s anything illegal about the actions,” said Duque.

Meanwhile, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, who led the ivermectin distribution, said Duque's issue was "petty."

“I cannot fully comprehend while in the middle of this war where 16,000 people are already dead and hundreds of thousands are sick, your highest ranking general is looking at prescriptions instead of pro- actively supporting a winning strategy that may win to save the lives of our people and emancipate us from this economic debacle," the lawmaker said. 

"The issue is petty. You have four known doctors giving prescriptions to patients who collect ivermectin from a nearby table. The patients submitted their records before hand and are recorded," he added. 
Defensor, who is not a doctor, said he was confident Ivermectin will eventually be proven effective against COVID 19.

”Later on it would be proven right maraming masasalbang kababayan natin na di mahahawa maraming masasalba yung nagkasakit sila hindi magiging severe,” he added. 

Defensor and Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta distributed capsules of Ivermectin to residents in Quezon City despite warnings from various health authorities and medical groups.

The FDA has so far granted 5 hospitals access to Ivermectin as investigational drug to treat COVID-19. In an advisory issued in March, the FDA said registered oral and intravenous preparations of ivermectin in the country were veterinary products used for the prevention of heartworm disease and treatment of internal and external parasites in certain animal species.


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- With reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News