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MOH Testing Out Two Drugs To Treat Covid-19, Says Dr Noor Hisham

MOH Testing Out Two Drugs To Treat Covid-19, Says Dr Noor Hisham

They said it looks promising, but more testing is needed.

Hakim Hassan

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The Health Ministry is looking to test two drugs – Ivermectin (IVM) and Favipiravir to treat Covid-19 to see their effectiveness against the disease.

In a Facebook post, Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that further testing will be needed for both types of drugs but initial studies from other researchers look promising.

The Institute of Clinical Research and KKM Infectious Disease specialists are in the process of developing a clinical trial on IVM, as well as Favipiravir to further ascertain the efficacy of these medicine.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah via Facebook

He said that IVM is listed under WHO’s essential medicines from 2019, primarily to treat various parasitic infestations and added that it’s cheap, easily available and safe for use.

Currently, it’s only being licensed in Malaysia for use in animals.

Laboratory work showed IVM has broad spectrum antiviral properties against RNA and DNA viruses. On that basis, some clinicians have repurposed IVM with other standard of care against Covid-19.

Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah via Facebook

Dr Noor Hisham said that there are now case reports and case series indicative of potential beneficial outcomes if patients are prescribed the drug in the early stages of infection.

Meanwhile, based on reports from the MOH, Favipiravir has been approved for the treatment of Covid-19 on 15 February 2020 in China, but tests are still being conducted to be used here.

They’ve cited the studies conducted on the drug which showed that it can be considered as one of the potential treatments for Covid-19 as it showed significantly better treatment effects in terms of clinical recovery rate, disease progression and viral clearance.


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