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.