While some people have been pressuring the Health Ministry to use the drug, KKM and WHO say more clinical trials are still needed.
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Recently there’s been a lot of talk about a drug called Ivermectin and how it can be used to treat Covid-19 patients or even prevent them from dying.
Reportedly, a police report was even made accusing the Health Ministry (KKM) of refusing to use Ivermectin on the seriously ill – stating that it was a crime to do so if the drug saves lives.
Several people from Malaysia’s medical community had also stepped up to push KKM to adopt the use of Ivermectin, claiming that the drug has been scientifically proven as an effective preventive measure and treatment for Covid-19.
Controversial miracle drug
Earlier in May, KKM had come to the conclusion that there was a lack of evidence proving the effectiveness of Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19 and aligned its stance with the World Health Organization (WHO) which recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.
According to the WHO, Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic chemical agent – meaning that the drug is known to be effective against a wide range of organisms.
Ivermectin is most commonly used in veterinary medicine in order to treat a variety of internal and external parasites for pets such as dogs and cats, however, the substance is also included in the WHO essential medicines list as a treatment for a number of parasitic diseases in humans – like worms for example.
The United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says that it has not approved the use of Ivermectin in treating or preventing Covid-19 in humans.
Scientific studies published in the Wiley Online Library, as well as The Lancet medical journal on the effects of Ivermectin, suggest that it may have the potential to be used to treat Covid-19 patients and might reduce some of its symptoms. But, researchers highly recommend that more trials on the drug be conducted.
Ivermectin clinical trials in Malaysia
KKM had approved of and began randomised clinical trials to evaluate Ivermectin’s effects and risks on Covid-19 patients. Aiming to test the drug on 500 test subjects, KKM had, as of 5 June, enrolled eight patients in its clinical trial program.
Subjects selected for the program are high-risk individuals aged 50 and above who have been admitted in public hospitals and are positive with Covid-19 and possess mild and moderate symptoms.
According to Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah the study will be led by an infectious disease expert at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh, Perak as well as specialist teams in 12 other government hospitals.
KKM’s Institute For Clinical Research (ICR) will be monitoring the program closely and with the aid of independent experts to ensure that everything goes accordingly.
Ivermectin products for animals are not the same for humans!
Berita Harian reports concerns that Ivermectin products can be easily obtained by members of the public online.
A quick search on Google would also note that Ivermectin products for pets and animals can be readily purchased on sites like Shopee and Lazada.
It is absolutely critical to note that Ivermectin products for animals are different from Ivermectin products made for people.
It goes without saying that the level of concentrated chemicals in animal products can obviously be really toxic to humans.
Additionally, other inactive ingredients that are included in animal products are clearly not evaluated for humans, so taking them means putting yourself in a lot of risks.
Typing out trending issues and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.