DOST ends study of ivermectin for COVID-19: chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2022 11:16 AM | Updated as of May 23 2022 11:21 AM

The anti-parasitic drug, ivermectin, widely circulating on the internet as an alternative drug against the COVID-19 virus. ABS-CBN News/file
The anti-parasitic drug, ivermectin, widely circulating on the internet as an alternative drug against the COVID-19 virus. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The Department of Science and Technology has scrapped its clinical trial on the use of antiparasitic drug ivermectin for COVID-19, its chief said Monday.

The study found it difficult to get ethics clearance and the Department of Health has decided to use the nearly P48-million fund on other matters, said DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

"Ang pinakafinal decision namin ang recommendation ng Department of Health kasi sila rin naman ang nagrekomenda ng trials. Sila rin naman ang nagrecommend na itiigil ang trials at isave na lang ang almost P48 million for other purposes," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Our final decision was the recommendation of the Department of Health because they were the ones who recommended the trial. They also recommended for it to stop and just save almost P48 million for other purposes.)

There was also no new information available internationally on ivermectin, Dela Peña said.

"Ang grupo na binuo for our trial ay member din ng international network at 'yun nga ang kanilang sinasabi, wala pang dumadating na anything that is clear na may benefits sa ivermectin," he said.

(The group created for our trial is also a member of an international network and it said no new information has arrived that is clear and would show there are benefits from ivermectin.)

Few patients were able to participate, while suppliers of ivermectin refused to join the study when they were informed of its purpose, Dela Peña said.

"Nahirapan kami kumuha ng supplier ng gamot. 'Pag nalaman nilang gagamitin sa trial ay umaatras sila. Natatakot siguro sila ang effect ay makasira ang market," he said.

(It was difficult to find a supplier. They back out once they know it would be used for the trial. They perhaps fear its effect will badly affect the market.)

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