Despite warnings by the World Health Organization and other experts, the Department of Science and Technology is continuing with its P22-million clinical trial on controversial antiparasitic drug ivermectin.
According to DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Dr. Jaime Montoya, trial sites have already been chosen and funds have already been sent to the University of the Philippines Manila-Philippine General Hospital, the institution spearheading the study.
Dr. Esperanza Cabral, former health secretary, called into question the government’s push to fund ivermectin’s clinical trial, which some politicians and doctors have touted as a miracle treatment for Covid19.
“It is not the government that should be spending P22 million in order to prove or [disprove] that this particular substance works,” she said.
It should be noted that the budget for this clinical trial was considerably higher than other possible treatments, which include melatonin and virgin coconut oil (set at P9.8 million each). It was also higher than trials for herbal plants tawa-tawa and lagundi, each of which are budgeted at P5 million each.
Cabral’s doubt was echoed by doctor Minguita Padilla, also the co-convener of Doctors for Truth. She cited that the clinical trial was redundant given that there have been hundreds of studies already in progress and that its use in India did not have effect against the Delta variant.
“Given the terrible surge in India, driven partly by its double-mutation variant, isn’t the fact that ivermectin has been a staple of Covid treatment in India since last year among the best arguments against its effectiveness against Covid19?” she said last May.
Photo: Daily Tribune