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DOST eyes starting ivermectin clinical trials on November 15 │ GMA News Online

After postponement, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Sunday said it is hoping to finally begin conducting the clinical trials of ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment next month.

Previously, the DOST revealed they are revising the methodology for the clinical trials to avoid issues of data manipulation and data validity.  

In an interview on Dobol B TV, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said they are still revising their protocols before they could start the clinical trials.

“Hopefully dahil pangalawang postpone na ito, November 15 ay maumpisahan na natin. Maraming lugar ang pagdadausan nito. Hindi naman ito kamukha ng bakuna, mahaba ang intervention,” dela Peña said, when asked about the ivermectin clinical trials.

(Hopefully, since these were postponed twice, by November 15, we can finally start with the trials. There are many areas where the trials will be conducted. It’s not like vaccines. There will be a long intervention.)

“Hopefully, by the end of the year, makapagbigay kami ng first report (we can submit a first report),” added dela Peña.

It was in April when the DOST bared it will conduct trials to determine if ivermectin can be used to treat COVID-19.  

But ivermectin maker Merck had already stated that there is “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect [from ivermectin] against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies.”

Merck also said there was “no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”

The Department of Health has said a reevaluation of newer evidence on ivermectin showed that it is still not recommended as a COVID-19 treatment.

The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration stated ivermectin products registered in the country for human use are in topical formulations and for treatment of external parasites such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea. It added that ivermectin is not approved for treatment of any viral infection.

Even the US FDA warned against using ivermectin to treat patients infected with COVID-19. —KG, GMA News

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