In the wake of the Ivermectin distribution program he facilitated with Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta last Thursday, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said that critics are only throwing at them “petty, immaterial loopholes” regarding the alleged “token” prescriptions written on blank bond paper.
However, many doctors and specialists voiced their opposition on social media, slamming the questionable prescription given to some 200 attendees.
The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) echoed this view and appealed the public to wait for results of the clinical trial on Ivermectin. Vice President Dr. Maricar Limpin warned that taking the drug without supporting evidence would give people only false hope.
She added that Defensor and Marcoleta, the Food and Drug Administration that allowed the program and doctors present “should also be held accountable.” Present at the program were members of Concerned Doctors and Citizens PH, which supports the use of the drug against Covid19.
Health secretary Francisco Duque said that the FDA must investigate the “token” prescription, saying that a legitimate one must state the name of the drug, name of the prescribing doctor, office address, professional registration number, professional tax receipt number and patient information.
In reply, Defensor said: “They should be looking at how this could be of use amid the pandemic which has taken thousands of lives.”
In addition, he mentioned a possible house-to-house distribution of the anti-parasitic medicine.
But other medical groups expressed concerns over the public regarding the Ivermectin as a “miracle drug”, influencing their decision to get vaccinated.
While earlier, justice secretary Menardo Guevarra said that what the congressmen did could be seen as a violation of Republic Act No. 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, the legal issues surrounding the program must first be examined before deciding if an investigation is necessary.
In the country, Ivermectin is only registered for veterinary use. The Department of Health and the World Health Organization Rep. Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe have also stressed that there was no evidence that the drug could prevent or treat Covid19.
Photo: GMA Network