Mayors Sotto, Cayetano caution public against taking ivermectin without legal approval

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2021 06:10 PM

MANILA — Two Metro Manila mayors on Friday warned the public against taking the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 since there is still not enough data showing its effectivity.

“Just because there is a bit of positive news or a little bit of possibility o may nakitang konting scientific basis, hindi yun sapat para sabihin na okay na yan pwede na yan,” Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said during a Department of Health briefing.

(Just because there is a bit of positive news or a little bit of possibility or some scientific basis, it’s not enough to say that is sufficient.)

“Hindi tayo mga doktor. Hindi tayo medical expert. Makinig tayo sa kanila. Makinig tayo sa mga eksperto,” he added.

(We are not doctors. We are not medical experts. We should listen to them. We should listen to experts.)

Some groups have been pushing for the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients but the DOH has repeatedly said that the studies done on the drug showed “low quality of evidence,” which is why it is still not recommended for public use.

Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano said that while government officials might have personal opinions on the emerging treatment options for COVID-19 patients, he prefers to listen to medical experts.

“So pag dumating ang panahon inaprubahan yan ng FDA (Food and Drug Administration), pag inaprubahan ng Department of Health…by all means we will not just support it, we will advocate it, we will buy it,” he said.

(If it is approved by the FDA, the DOH, and recommended by…by all means we will not just support it, we will advocate it, we will buy it.)

The two mayors said this a day after two lawmakers distributed free Ivermectin to residents of Quezon City. 

 Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire meanwhile reiterated that there is still no sufficient evidence that would allow the Department of Health to recommend ivermectin against COVID-19.

She pointed out that no drug has been approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

However, she reiterated the FDA’s statement that as long as the ivermectin given out was from a compounding pharmacy and was prescribed by doctors, then it is legal.