PH Red Cross seeks FDA nod for ivermectin clinical trials

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 07 2021 02:02 PM

Lawmakers lead distribution of ivermectin to residents of Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City on April 29, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross will wait for advise from the Food and Drug Administration before deciding on planned clinical trials of anti-parasitic drug ivermectin for COVID-19 patients, its chairman said Friday.

The Department of Science and Technology has sought use of the PRC's isolation facilities and patients for the conduct of the study, Sen. Richard Gordon told TeleRadyo.

“Sabi ko, I will consider it first. Papayag lang ako 'pag sinabi ng FDA, sinabi ng let’s say mga informed scientists, ‘Sige i-test mo walang makakasama diyan’ at kung papayag ang tao,” he said.

(I told them I will consider it first. I will only agree if the FDA and informed scientists say 'It can be used as it poses no harm,' and if the patients give their consent.)

Gordon added, "I will wait for advise. 'Pag science ang kailangan, I always marry the science with the prospective cure. I cannot decide because ang scientist ang nakakaalam. Maraming laboratoryong kailangan, maraming karunungan ang kailangan dyan na hindi malalaman ng isang abogadong katulad ko,” he added.

(I will wait for advise. If it involves science, I always marry the science with the prospective cure. I cannot decide because it’s the scientists who know these things. Many laboratories and knowledge are needed that a lawyer like me will not know.)

The Philippine government will conduct an 8-month clinical trial starting June to determine the efficacy of the anti-parasitic drug against the respiratory illness.

Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña had said ivermectin would be tested for efficacy, safety and effect on 1,200 asymptomatic and non-severe Filipino coronavirus patients, who are at least 18 years old. 

The trial costs P22 million, which will be shouldered by the Department of Health.

To date, only 5 hospitals in the country have been granted compassionate special permit to use the deworming drug against COVID-19.

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