Ex-DOH chief on ‘compassionate’ grant on Ivermectin: ‘Political, not medical’

THE decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant compassionate use for anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin seems to be “political rather than medical,” according to former Health secretary and Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin.

Garin’s statement came after the agency issued an unnamed hospital the permit to use Ivermectin as treatment for the coronavirus disease, calling its move “a big joke.”

“Issuing a compassionate use permit for just [one] hospital but saying it cannot be distributed and used for Covid-19 in general seems to be more of a political accommodation,” Garin said.

“This should not have a place in an institution [that] is primarily responsible for [the] safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines,” she added.

Garin further criticized the FDA, saying its decisions should always be backed by science, especially in the midst of the public health crisis.

“Anti-parasitic drug na gamot sa hayop ginawang antiviral na gamot sa tao? Pinareho nila ang galising aso o pusa sa mga may Covid-19 (Anti-parasitic drug for animals being transformed into antiviral medicine for humans? They likened dogs or cats with skin diseases to people with COVID-19,” she said.

The former Health chief explained that compassionate use allows hospitals to resort to an experimental drug for patients “with immediate and urgent life-threatening conditions or serious diseases.”

She appealed to business owners and entsaid.repreneurs not to take advantage of the desperation of the public, adding that many people recover on their own unless complications arise because of existing comorbidities.

“Viral illnesses are self-limiting. Let’s not deceive the people. Let’s not abuse or capitalize on their fear because of Covid-19,” she said.