Hospital gets compassionate special permit to use ivermectin vs. COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) —The Food and Drug Administration clarified Thursday it granted a hospital’s request for a compassionate special permit to use anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin against COVID-19.

FDA Director General Rolando Domingo first made the announcement in a briefing earlier in the day.

“Sa pagkakaalam ko po, may isang ospital na nag-apply ng compassionate special permit for the use of ivermectin at ito po ay na-grant na ngayong araw na ito,” FDA Director General Rolando Domingo said in a briefing.

[Translation: As far as I know, there is one hospital, which applied for a compassionate special permit for the use of Ivermectin and we granted them that today.]

Domingo did not provide more details.

The FDA earlier said oral Ivermectin products in the country are only approved for use on animals to prevent heartworm disease and treat infections caused by parasites. The agency added doctors can prescribe topical ivermectin products to individuals with parasitic infestations such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea, which causes redness and visible blood vessels on the face.

The FDA, Department of Health, and several health experts, including Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization’s representative to the Philippines, earlier warned the public against the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 prevention or treatment. They said there is not enough proof showing the drug can be used to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Even Merck, the company behind the drug, has said that pre-clinical trials indicate "no scientific basis” for its potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19, adding there is a “concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”