MANILA, Philippines – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said that preparations are underway for the anticipated clinical trials on the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (May 5), the official said the trials will be spearheaded by pulmonary doctor Dr. Aileen Wang of the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and will be implemented for eight months from June 2021 to January 2022.
He said the Department of Health (DOH) has allotted a total of P22 million for the trial of ivermectin.
It will be conducted on 1,200 volunteer adults, 18 years old and above, who are asymptomatic or non-severe COVID patients.
The team is awaiting ethics approval this month before proceeding with the trial.
“Ang ginagawa ay ethics approval para sa kanilang gagawin at recruitment ng staff na mag-a-administer ng clinical trials,” Dela Peña said.
They are currently coordinating with the Philippine Red Cross for the utilization of its facilities.
Other agents also under clinical trial are as follows:
* Randomized control clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of Tawa Tawa for adjunctive treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients (11 months);
* Randomized, placebo-controlled trial on the safety and efficacy of Lagundi in patients with mild COVID and without comorbidities (10 months);
* Clinical trial on the safety and efficacy of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as adjunctive therapy for hospitalized COVID patients (12 months);
* Beneficial effects of VCO among suspect and probable cases of COVID-19 (14 months, extension included);
* Melatonin as adjuvant treatment for COVID-19 in patients requiring hospitalization (9 months) ;
* Convalescent Plasma as adjunctive therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. (12 months).
Dela Peña noted that the duration of clinical trials for ivermectin is almost similar in period as other agents. The progress of each study still depends on the number of patients who want to volunteer for the trial.
“Kapag dumadami ang pasyenteng magbo-volunteer, mas mapapabilis ang pagtatapos ng mga trials,” the official assured.