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'Ang Probinsyano' stars Enzo Pineda, Vance Larena put spotlight on Ivermectin
Enzo Pineda, Vance Larena
Enzo Pineda, Vance Larena via Instagram

'Ang Probinsyano' stars Enzo Pineda, Vance Larena put spotlight on Ivermectin

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - April 5, 2021 - 9:12pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated April 6, 6:33 p.m.) — "Ang Probinsyano" stars Enzo Pineda and Vance Larena put a spotlight on the possibility of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, which major medical organizations locally and overseas including the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against.

Pineda posted on Saturday on his Instagram (@its_enzopineda) how his father, 1Pacman Representative Eric Pineda, is "spearheading thhe approval of Ivermectin as an affordable drug to fight COVID-19."

The actor said he is proud about his father leads the charge on the House's health panel. He added that has friends who recently recovered from the virus who he said can testify about the drug's efficacy. In fact, he is also using Ivermectin as a "preventive medicine."

Ivermectin is known as an anti-parasitic medication used to treat infections caused by certain parasites.

 

"Yes we are still treading the waters because the virus is constantly evolving. Pero sana po buksan natin ang ating isipan for different alternatives because people are dying not just because of the virus but also from hunger and anxiety," he wrote.

He shared that the drug costs P35 and that one can take it for a few days. Enzo also called on doctors and scientists to look into Ivermectin's possible efficacy as a drug that could fight the virus.

"Kaysa naman po mag bayad ng thousands o millions of pesos sa hospital. I’m not a scientist or a doctor to prove it...kaya I urge our brilliant doctors and scientists to have a closer look [at] why it’s working. Stay safe everyone," he tweeted.

In the comments section of his post, his co-star Vance wrote his reply.

"Bro, thank you for sharing what you know about Ivermectin. I honestly wouldn't have googled it if it wasn't for this post. Let's hope for the official approval if it turns out to be effective after clinical trials. For now, I read that there is no registered anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin for human use in the country yet," Larena wrote. As of press time, Pineda has not replied to his co-star's comment.

The Department of Health, however, issued a statement defining its continuous ban Ivermectin for COVID-19.

"All current Ivermectin products registered in the country are for veterinary use and are only allowed for the treatment of internal and external parasites as well as prevention of heartworm disease in animals hence the issuance of FDA Advisory No. 2021-0526," its statement read.

Nothing proven about Ivermectin

It added that the Food and Drug Administration is currently processing an application filed on March 31 for production registration from concerned parties.

The health agency also cited the findings of the Philippine COVID-19 Living CPG Review from six randomized controlled trials, namely:

  1. Ivermectin DID NOT SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE the risk of mortality among patients with mild to severe COVID-19 cases;
     
  2. Ivermectin was NOT ASSOCIATED with a definite benefit of other clinically important outcomes such as clinical improvement at Day 6 -10, clinical deterioration, and need for mechanical ventilation;
     
  3. Ivermectin DID NOT SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE  the duration of hospitalization and the time to resolution of symptoms and;
     
  4. The rate of hospitalization discharge DID NOT DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY between the Ivermectin group and the placebo group.
     
  5. It proceed to say that based on the current evidence from the randomized trial, the DOH "agrees with the COVID-19 Living CPG Reviewers and does not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19."

The DOH's statement also mentioned the statement of the World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe earlier said that there is "no evidence" that supports the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19, even as a preventive measure.

The health department stressed that the use of the said drug "has to be evaluated through clinical trials" and that the two agencies, DOH and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are "open to allowing pharmacies for compounding Ivermectin."

Ivermectin manufacturer Merck released a statement in February on the use of the drug during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, its analysis has identified "no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies and there is no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease."

The statement also emphasized "a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies."

RELATED: DOH repeats warning vs Ivermectin as lawmaker plans distribution

Merck stressed that it does "not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information."

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Editor's Note: The latest update revises the first paragraph to read that the actors put a spotlight on—not endorsed—the possible use of Ivermectin.

ENZO PINEDA IVERMECTIN
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