The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it will not support local research and development on animal antiparasitic drug Ivermectin in connection with its supposed ability to prevent or treat Covid-19.
During the “Laging Handa” press briefing on Monday, April 12, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said they are also referring to the Department of Health’s (DOH) position on the results of the completed studies abroad on the use of Ivermectin or Covid-19.
“There is no clear position that says the drug can treat Covid-19,” Dela Peña told Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio, who hosted the virtual briefer.
“Usually, the statements (about the drug) are general. Some say it’s not clear or the data are not convincing. Others say it’s good,” Dela Peña said in Filipino.
“Experts in the scientific and medical field have already spoken. In the case of the DOST, our most common involvement is the development of diagnostic kits, disease models, drugs and adjunctive therapies, including the conduct of clinical trials whether it is for medicines or for vaccines,” he explained.
He added that the clinical trial project will require a maximum of six months and can extend to years.
“That is how long we have to wait to have results and conclusions. Considering, however, that there are almost 20 completed and 40 ongoing clinical trials around the world as reported, the government is exploring the use of ivermectin formulations against COVID-19. Our Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, which is our arm taking care of the health sector, is of the position that there is no need to conduct another clinical trial in the Philippines as most ongoing trials had already started since 2020,” Dela Peña said.
“It would be appropriate to await the results of these studies that are already significantly advanced in terms of data collection and conducting interim analysis,” Dela Peña added.
He, however, stressed that if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would ask the DOST’s assistance to conduct a local study on the said antiparasitic drug, it would do so.
—(Source: One News)