Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor and House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta are most likely to face charges for dispensing Ivermectin to Quezon City residents earlier on Thursday, against repeated advice from the Food and Drug Administration.
According to justice secretary Menardo Guevarra, what the pair did could be seen as a violation of Republic Act No. 9711, the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009.
Defensor had said earlier this week that he will “fight” the regulating body if they wish to stop their distribution program–which began on Thursday in Old Balara, Quezon City–on the basis that it is legally compliant.
FDA director general Eric Domingo weighed in on this, saying: “As long as they have doctors who will check the patients and prescribe medicines that will be dispensed properly.”
The initiative, named “Ivermectin Pan-three”, builds on the popularity of the community pantries all over the country, and is so named for the three capsules of the drug to be given to each beneficiary.
The drug, although registered in the country for veterinary use, can be given to humans if obtained from labs and pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription and in hospitals that have acquired a compassionate special permit.
Defensor, a staunch advocate for the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid19 patients, has also distributed the drug once before, but to senior citizens, resulting in a butting of heads with the FDA. However, even global health body World Health Organization has said that there is no strong evidence to support the effectiveness of Ivermectin on Covid19 clinical statistics.
Photo: Zandro Ochona/ ABS-CBN News