6 hospitals now with special permit to use ivermectin for COVID-19 patients

6 hospitals now with special permit to use ivermectin for COVID-19 patients
This photo taken on April 6, 2021 shows a relative wearing personal protective equipment attending to a family member with COVID-19 at a makeshift ward in a hospital in Manila. More contagious variants of the coronavirus have been blamed for a record surge in infections in Metro Manila that has overwhelmed hospitals and sent the national capital region into lockdown.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Local regulators on Wednesday bared there are now six hospitals with compassionate special permit to use the ivermectin as a treatment for its COVID-19 patients.

The anti-parasitic drug is being pushed by some, particularly by two lawmakers, to help fight the disease, despite health authorities' warning that consumption could be highly toxic.

In a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, FDA chief Eric Domingo said the six facilities with special permit are private hospitals in Metro Manila and in the provinces.

He, however, refused to give names saying it may violate patients' privacy.

"That means the doctors in the hospitals can prescribe it," he said. "Of course the hospitals can freely identify themselves. We're not stopping them."

The FDA has come under fire for granting these permits despite repeatedly advising against using the drug. 

It first announced that a lone hospital was cleared for this in April that has grown to six by the following month.

Some crucial details remain such as on when the agency issued another permit, and if it has received more applications.

Asked about this, Domingo merely replied to Philstar.com with: "Sorry, I don't know the details."

Medical groups have urged authorities to act on the ivermectin gaining traction, especially after Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan party-list) and Rep. Rodante Marcoleta (SAGIP party-list) began distributing it to Quezon City residents.

The World Health Organization has said too that the drug requires more trials to prove if it works against COVID-19.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the conduct of this which the Department of Science and Technology said could begin this month. — Christian Deiparine





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