By Billy Begas
Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the compassionate use permit issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to human grade Ivermectin is “a step in the right direction”.
Herrera expressed hope that the FDA would soon grant Ivermectin an emergency use authorization (EUA) to treat COVID-19 patients using as basis the results of clinical trials done in Australia, Japan, Panama and United States.
“‘Yun ngang vaccines wala rin namang local clinical trials, pati ‘yung Remdesivir na ginagamit na gamot sa COVID-19,” Herrera pointed out.
She was optimistic that the compassionate permit would open the door for wider use of the human-grade Ivermectin as an inexpensive and effective alternative medicine for COVID-19.
Remdesivir, the experimental drug being used to treat COVID-19-infected patients, costs around P28,000 per vial and being administered twice daily until the patient is discharged.
Ivermectin, on the other hand, costs only around P35, to be administered once daily for three days.
“Given the worsened COVID-19 situation in the country, finding an effective, safe and affordable medicine for the deadly coronavirus has become more imperative,” she pointed out.
Herrera said Ivermectin is among the essential medicines being distributed by the government of Panama to its citizens who contracted COVID-19.
Once approved for widespread use, Herrera said the government could actually give Ivermectin to Filipinos for free, just like what is presently being done in Latin American countries.
Herrera said that according to initial studies Ivermectin can inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19 in cell cultures.