CNN Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has personally ordered to hold clinical trials in the country for the use of antiparasitic drug ivermectin on COVID-19 patients, according to Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo.
The FDA chief on Tuesday said the President gave the orders to the Departments of Health and Science and Technology to determine if the drug originally prescribed to treat animals can be used on humans infected with COVID-19.
The order came despite repeated warnings from the FDA and DOH that there is not enough evidence on the drug’s efficacy against the virus. Experts also said high doses of it could cause brain damage or even death.
“Si Presidente po mismo ang nag-utos noong Huwebes sa DOST at DOH na aralin,” Domingo told a media briefing. “Kasi marami din siyang naririnig at nababalitaan na may mga sumusuporta at meron ding siyentipikong nagsasabing kulang pa ang ebidensya. So inutos niya talaga sa pamahalaan na aralin na .
Domingo revealed that the DOST explained there are already several trials globally that are expected to be completed in the next few weeks, but the President insisted.
“Kaya lang, si Presidente, gusto niya talaga sigurong subukan sa ating mga Pilipino kaya inutos niya sa DOST na aralin din sa atin,” the regulatory chief said.