MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is maintaining its position regarding calls for clinical trials on veterinary drug ivermectin as treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Secretary Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said clinical trial projects will require six months and can extend to years.
He added that since there are almost 20 completed and 40 ongoing clinical trials around the world on ivermectin, it would be appropriate to await the results of these studies.
De la Peña noted, however, that they will heed the directive of the Department of Health (DOH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should they require the DOST to conduct a trial.
“Kung sasabihan kami ng ahensya tulad ng DOH or FDA na mag-conduct ng clinical trial ay aming susundin ang kanilang advise,” the official said during Monday (April 12) edition of Laging Handa Briefing.
According to the FDA, the registered ivermectin products in the country for human use are in topical formulations under prescription use only.
This is used for the treatment of external parasites such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.
As for the results of the clinical trial, De la Peña said there is still no clear details as to whether or not ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.
“According to DOH walang maliwanag na iyon [ivermectin] ay nakakabuti sa [pasyente na may] COVID -19,” he said.
He also also suggested waiting for the published results of ongoing trials in other countries.
“Hintayin na lang na matapos kasi advance na ang data gathering nila,” De la Peña said.