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WATCH: This is why the use of Ivermectin has been met with scepticism

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Many drugs have been tested to see if they could be repurposed to treat Covid-19 but they have all failed, and this is why people have been skeptical about the efficacy of ivermectin.

Ivermectin

A number of drugs have been tested to see if they could be repurposed to treat Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic, but they have all failed, and this is why many have been sceptical about the efficacy of Ivermectin

A doctor from the United States says this is why researchers and the public are sceptical about the efficacy of Ivermectin.

In an interview with IOL, pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr Pierre Kory, said that the long list of failed therapeutics against Covid-19 has led people to be cautious about any new “Covid cures”.

His comments come amid severe pressure on the South African government by some doctors to recognise Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19.

“Scepticism is ingrained in the medical profession, so we have to be very careful when adopting therapies for losing credibility. But the cautiousness I think is now excessive with Ivermectin, and I think it is being driven by a few things,” he said.

“In the pandemic, many therapies have been adopted. For instance, Hydroxychloroquine was adopted without any clinical trial evidence and then once it was studied it was shown really not to work,” said Kory.

In October last year the World Health Organization (WHO) said the largest randomised control trial on Covid-19 therapeutics found conclusive evidence showing that repurposed drugs including Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine were ineffective for hospitalised patients.

“Even Remdesivir, which is essentially an ineffective drug, has been used widely in the United States at $3 000 a dose. The mono-clonal antibodies simply do not work, and convalescent plasma fails biological plausibility to be effective,” said Kory.

List of failed Covid-19 therapeutics. Graphic by Keagan le Grange

“And now here comes Ivermectin and everyone is tired of claims of efficacy, so I don’t blame anyone for being cautious. But people are almost willfully ignoring the amount of evidence for the drug,” he said.

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee says the reason the scepticism towards Ivermectin is because t of a lack of concrete evidence of its effectiveness against Covid-19, but regardless, many people have decided to use the drug off-label.

Coetzee says the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) needs to look into the drug and be satisfied that it can be used in all patients, including pregnant ladies and young children.

“SAMA would be very happy to inform all our members that they can go and get Ivermectin and sell it to their patients, but only once it becomes registered in South Africa.

“There is no first world country that has approved this drug for Covid-19, the WHO has not given the green light on it, and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) does not have it registered for human consumption,” said Coetzee.

According to Kory, the main objection at this point is that current trials are not considered to be from ethnocentric or Western countries.

“All the trials are coming from smaller countries or universities that don’t usually do high-level big pharma research. And so they don’t trust the data. We have the 27 trials, which are randomized with repeated signals that show Ivermectin’s efficacy,” he said.