BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod is strongly requesting for a more intellectual, unbiased, scientific, and no-competitive financial interest debates and discussions on the inclusion of Ivermectin in the list of essential drugs against the Covid-19.
The resolution, authored by Councilor Renecito Novero, said Covid-19 has made a profound impact on emergency responding and policy-making in a public health crisis, in that classical solutions for controlling the virus. These include travel restrictions, lockdowns, repurposed drugs and vaccines, that are socially unpopular and medically limited by the fast mutation and adaptation of the virus, and further exacerbated by microbial resistance to therapeutic drugs and the slow development of vaccines.
In the global Covid vaccine race, of the 197 vaccines formulated worldwide, there are, so far, only 13 approved and licensed for general use, 21 vaccines are in the Phase 3 currently undergoing large international trials, 28 vaccines are in Phase 2 and are being tested on broader groups of people, it said.
“In our local scenario, of the approved vaccines, only four have been granted the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, namely, Pfizer BioNTech on January 14, 2021, Oxford AstraZeneca – January 2, 2021, Sinovac CoronaVac – February 22, 2021, and Gamaleya Sputnik V – March 19, 2021, while the Bharat BioTech has a pending application since January 22. Three more vaccines – Moderna, Novavax, and Janssen – are still in large scale efficacy tests,” the resolution added.
Ivermectin has been included in the WHO essential medicines list as a broad spectrum anti-parasitic agent and has been recognized by many experts and observers as one of the greatest medical accomplishments of the 20th century, winning its Nobel Prize in 2015, it said.
The resolution said the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance claimed that the flawed unrecognition of Ivermectin by the WHO ignores the evidence, creates more controversy, and will only lead to continuing suffering and death from Covid-19, despite data that overwhelmingly demonstrate that “Ivermectin” saves lives from Covid and that there is no reason not to recommend it for everyone as a safe drug for prevention and treatment, especially that its cost is easily within the reach of the poor.
It is a wonder why the government is being sluggish in making Ivermectin immediately nationally available amid the clamor from medical and political groups, since it already declared a state of emergency and whatever legal impediments can be easily addressed because the welfare of the people should be the supreme law, it said. Copies of the resolution will be furnished the Office of the President, the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, the Senate, House of Representatives, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the City Health Office, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Lacson, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental, and the Provincial Health Office.*