BOC-NAIA intercepts 20,000 tablets of ivermectin, other regulated drugs

Maris Federez   •   May 6, 2021   •   373

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs Port of NAIA (BOC-NAIA) has intercepted undeclared ivermectin and other regulated drugs declared as food supplements and multi-vitamins and multi-mineral capsules.

In a press release dated May 6, the BOC said the shipment was imported by Finstad Inc. from New Delhi, India.

The said drugs including the undeclared 20,000 capsules of ivermectin were reportedly concealed in the inner portion of the subject shipment along with other declared regulated items, it added.

The BOC said that it coordinated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the shipment.

In her reply to a BOC query, FDA Director Jesusa Joyce N. Cirunay of the Center for Drug Regulation and Research said, “At present, the drug is under compassionate use in Specialized Institutions authorized by FDA through the issuance of Compassionate Special permit (CSP).”

Furthermore, Director Cirunay added, “In case ivermectin has been granted authorization, a valid License to Operate (LTO) as Drug Importer and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) shall be presented.”

The BOC-NAIA team said that in conformance with the directive of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, it remains committed to expediting the processing and release of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs, and other medical supplies.

Moreover, it assured that it will also be vigilant and will further strengthen border security and protection efforts to curb all smuggling attempts to import unregistered, undeclared goods and/or misdeclared goods without the necessary clearance and permits from FDA.

Ivermectin clinical trials to push through this September despite delays — DOST

Marje Pelayo   •   September 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said preparations are almost done for the start of the ivermectin clinical trial this month.

The clinical trial is necessary to find out if the controversial drug is effective against COVID-19, Dr. Jaime Montoya of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) said.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Montoya said the agency had to adjust its protocol based on the standards of the international consortium before it launches the clinical trial for ivermectin.

“Dahil po may mga nag-review ng ating mga protocol na galing sa international reviewers po ay binago po natin ang ilang aspeto sa ating protocol para mapaganda pa po ito,” Montoya said.

Montoya added that the clinical trial for ivermectin in the country is supported by major international health bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute on Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Also, he noted the importance of the clinical trial to come up with evidence on its effectiveness against COVID-19, with Filipinos as the concentration of the trial.

“Napakahalaga na magkaroon tayo ng lokal na datos tungkol sa mga Pilipino na nabibigyan ng gamot na ito, tungkol sa safety issue, sa mga side effects, kung ito po ay totoong mabisa sa mga Pilipinong may COVID-19,” he said.

“Kailangan gumawa pa ng clinical trial para magkaroon ng sapat na ebidensya kung ito ba ay magagamit o hindi para sa COVID-19,” he added.

Currently, the DOST’s requirements are being evaluated by the consortium’s ethics committee.

Once it is finished, the DOST hopes the clinical trial for ivermectin will push through this month as initially planned.

“Ito po sa kasalukuyan ay tinatapos na ang ethics at technical review bago po ito magsimula dahil ang target natin ay this month po ‘yan dapat magsimula,” he said.

DOH, muling iginiit na hindi gamot ang ivermectin vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Inulit ng Department of Health (DOH) ang babala nito hinggil sa basta-bastang pag-inom ng ivermectin bilang gamot sa COVID-19.

Ginawa ng DOH ang pahayag matapos sabihin ng United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) na hindi dapat gamitin kontra COVID-19 ang ivermectin na isang animal grade o ginawa para gamutin ang parasitic infection sa mga hayop.

“Ito pong gamot na ito nagpakita na po ng ebidensya na ito pong gamot na ito doesn’t give you any benefit at all in preventing, in shortening the duration of your hospitalization or preventing the progression of your disease when you have COVID-19” ani DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Itong gamot na ito ay may side effects in na harmful sa inyong katawan,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang babala ng USFDA ay kasunod ng mga pagdami ng mga kaso ng umano’y naoospital sa Amerika dahil sa paggamit ng ivermectin kontra COVID-19.

Sa estado ng Mississippi, iniulat ng Poison Control Center na 70% ng tawag na kanilang natatanggap ay dahil sa pag-inom ng animal grade na ivermectin na binili sa livestock centers.

Ayon sa ahensya, hindi dapat inumin ng mga tao ang animal drugs dahil ito ay concentrated para sa mga malalaking hayop at toxic para sa tao.

Una na ring nagbabala ang World Health Organization laban sa paggamit ng ivermectin bilang gamot sa COVID-19, maliban na lamang kung ito ay para sa isang clinical trial. RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Gordon open to idea of conducting ivermectin clinical trials in PRC facilities

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the organization welcomes the conduct of clinical trials in its isolation facilities.

“Basta papayag ang mga pasyente. Wala pa naman akong nalalaman na namatay sa ivermectin. Basta papayag sila at ang gobyerno natin ang mangangasiwa,” Gordon said during the Laging Handa briefing on Friday (May 7).

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s public briefing on Thursday (May 6), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena reported to the President that the government is eyeing the use of PRC facilities as venues for clinical trials particularly on the use of ivermectin.

Reacting to issues concerning the popular drug, the senator said he is not against the trial of ivermectin as it will help settle the controversies.

“Pagbigyan para matapos, para malaman natin once and for all,” he said. “I will say ‘no’ kung walang proper supervision, walang approval ng gobyerno.”

The DOST said the clinical trials on ivermectin will start in June.

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