CDCPH STATEMENT ON DOH ADVISORY AGAINST IVERMECTIN
With the recent announcement of the Department of Health advising against the use of Ivermectin in treating COVID-19, the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC Ph) once again needs to set the record straight about the efficacy of this medicine. It bears repeating that Ivermectin has been on the WHO and Philippine Essential Medicines List for many years now. And this for good reason.
Ivermectin continues to be the target of a misinformation campaign which, happily, is rather easy to refute with a little research.
1. The claim that Ivermectin is only for animal use is a half-truth that is both inaccurate and misleading.
There are a whole host of medicines with the same active ingredients that are used by both humans and animals. For example, the antibiotics used by people, pets, and livestocks have the same active ingredients and are used to combat similar infections.
The difference lies in that there are separate formulations for these medicines — specifically, human-grade formulations and animal-grade formulations.
For decades now, physicians have been prescribing human-grade Ivermectin to treat their patients for parasitic diseases such as scabies, filariasis, and onchocerciasis. This is why Ivermectin is readily available through pharmacies and compounding laboratories.
On the other hand, animal-grade Ivermectin is dispensed not by physicians but by veterinarians, and has never been available in pharmacies and compounding laboratories dispensing human-grade medications.
2. Ivermectin is included in the list of essential drugs according to the Philippine National Formulary, which is published by the Pharmaceutical Division of the Department of Health.
The formulary is the official list of medications approved for human use and is freely and publicly available here: https://pharma.doh.gov.ph/the-philippine-national-formulary/
3. Since its discovery in the late 1970s, Ivermectin has been administered to billions of people and has been proven to be an effective broad spectrum antiparasitic agent.
In a review published in The Japanese Journal of Antibiotics, researchers Yagisawa et. al report that Ivermectin has been used for more than 30 years with more than 3.7 billion doses dispensed in Africa and Central and South America.
Considering the global availability of Ivermectin in both developed and developing regions of the world, it is reasonable to estimate that the total number of Ivermectin doses dispensed globally far exceeds 3.7 billion.
The review article is freely and publicly available here: https://pgibertie.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/74-1_44-95.pdf
Earlier this year, Ivermectin manufacturer Merck proudly announced its successful use of more than 4 billion doses of its Mectizan brand in the fight against river blindness (onchocerciasis).
Their press release can be found here: https://www.merck.com/stories/mectizan/
4. There is a large and growing body of randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses showing the efficacy of Ivermectin versus COVID.
As of August 25, 2021, there have been 63 trials studies worldwide on repurposing Ivermectin for anti-virus treatments involving 26,398 patients and 613 scientists.
The cumulative research results on the efficacy of Ivermectin are: 86 percent improvement when used as a prophylaxis, 72 percent as an early-treatment, and 40 percent as a late-treatment drug. These studies are all publicly available for free on https://ivmmeta.com/.
5. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been publicly criticized by reputable scholars for attacking Ivermectin, a safe and effective drug.
In an opinion piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on July 28, 2021, David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper, both of whom are research fellows at the Hoover Institution, wrote that:
If the FDA were driven by science and evidence, it would give an emergency-use authorization for ivermectin for Covid-19. Instead, the FDA asserts without evidence that ivermectin is dangerous.
At the bottom of the FDA’s warning against ivermectin is this statement: “Meanwhile, effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 continue to be to wear your mask, stay at least 6 feet from others who don’t live with you, wash hands frequently, and avoid crowds.”
Is this based on the kinds of double-blind studies that the FDA requires for drug approvals? No.
The complete article is publicly available here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-ivermectin-covid-19-coronavirus-masks-anti-science-11627482393
The Hoover Institution is a highly-regarded public policy think-tank based in the University of Stanford known for hosting eminent scholars from all over the world. It maintains an extensive library and archives of scholarly literature.
Its stated mission is to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind.