Ivermectin sent back to the worms by medicines regulator
Ivermectin. Photo: iStockPhoto

AfriForum has sent a formal PAIA application to the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 (MAC) and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to obtain documents and information from these organisations that relate to their review of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

As much of the country enters a third wave of the pandemic, and hospital beds are filling up, particularly in Gauteng, some desperate South Africans are calling for Ivermectin to be made more easily available… as they claim some recent global studies appear to have shown its positive impact on the treatment of patients suffering from Covid-19. However there are still warnings to not take the drug (which is usually only used in humans to treat conditions caused by parasitic worms).

AfriForum and the I Can Make a Difference group of doctors earlier requested the MAC, SAHPRA, the National Essential Medicine List Committee (NEMLC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of South Africa (IDSSA) to provide their review documents on ivermectin.

This step was taken after prof. Helen Rees, chairperson of SAHPRA, indicated that these four institutions independently reviewed the available data on ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

The NEMLC referred AfriForum and I Can Make a Difference to the webpage of the Department of Health, where only an outdated ivermectin review document from January is available. The IDSSA indicated that the institution does not have such a document.

“More information about the positive impact of ivermectin on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 has come to light in the last months,” claims Baren Uys, Head of Research at AfriForum. “One example of this is a meta-analysis that was published in the American Journal of Therapeutics (on 17 June 2021). The analysis found that the use of ivermectin can reduce the risk of death by 62% and risk of infection by 86%.”

According to the study’s conclusion: “Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.”

SA authorities’ ivermectin recommendations based on outdated information, says AfriForum

Uys says: “The implementation of prevention and early treatment of COVID-19 with a combination of repurposed medicines can reduce pressure on hospitals and save lives. Everything points to the fact that the authorities’ current recommendation on ivermectin is based on outdated information.

“If the review of ivermectin was conducted independently by the four institutions, surely the documents relating to that must be available and can be provided on request? The question must be asked whether the public is deliberately misled or if those in leadership positions do not know what is happening,” says Uys.

AfriForum encourages medical doctors and the public to take responsibility and do research themselves on the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19 with safe, well-known and affordable repurposed medicines. AfriForum cites “good” sources of information as the FLCCC in the USA, BIRD in the United Kingdom and the webpage https://c19early.com/.

Other sources include the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) and the WHO.

The FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) says it has not reviewed data to support the use of ivermectin in Covid-19 patients, but that some initial research is underway. The FDA warns that “there’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong. Even the levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners.” They warn of overdosing on ivermectin leading to everything from nausea to coma and even death.

The WHO says “current evidence on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive. Until more data is available, WHO recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.”

In a statement in April SAHPRA reiterated that “to date, there is insufficient scientific evidence on the efficacy of Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. We wish to assure the public that SAHPRA has been and will continue to monitor emerging data regarding the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.”

WATCH Carte Blanche on Ivermectin: Silver Bullet or False Hope?

This episode is from February 2021.

If you’re abroad, stay up to date with South African news by watching Carte Blanche on Showmax International. (In most countries.)