By Billy Begas
The compassionate use permit issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Ivermectin seems to be a political accommodation rather than a medical decision, said former Health Secretary Janette Garin.
Iloilo Rep. Garin said politics should not have a room in the FDA, which is primarily responsible for safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines prior to allowing Filipinos to access such.
“Issuing a compassionate use permit for just 1 hospital but saying it cannot be distributed and used for COVID-19 treatment in general seems to be more of a political accommodation than a medical decision. Isang malaking joke,” Garin said.
Compassionate use means access is a potential pathway for a patient with an immediate and urgent life-threatening condition or serious disease when no other option is available, said Garin
“Therefore you give it to dying patients where risks of an experimental drug are outweighed by current situation of the patient. Kumbaga, no choice na. Last resort,” she added.
Garin said the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 be within the bounds of clinical trials because current evidence on it is inconclusive.
“Hindi pwedeng ganitong klase ang FDA natin. Dapat decisions are always backed up by science. We are dealing with public health. Anti-parasitic drug na gamot sa hayop ginawang anti-viral na gamot sa tao? Parang nilang sinabing pareho lang ang langgam sa daga. Pinareho nila ang galising aso o pusa sa mga may COVID-19,” she said.
Garin also appealed to businessmen not to take advantage of the desperation of the people. “Huwag naman linlangin ang taong bayan. Huwag abusuhin at gawing kapital ang takot na nararamdaman ng mga kababayan natin dahil sa COVID-19.”