As recently reported in the publication Hospital Pharmacy Europe a Belgium virologist named Marc Wathelet argues for the immediate use of ivermectin as a low-cost, off-label treatment to get the pandemic under control in Belgium. After providing a brief history of the first attempts at repurposing at the pandemic onset, Dr. Wathelet suggests after one year, and billions spent by governments such as those from America, only one drug is actually proven to have benefits—dexamethasone from the RECOVERY trial for patients who were already hypoxemic. Dr. Wathelet introduces the drug TrialSite has chronicled since April but that the rest of the world is just learning about- ivermectin. Referencing the meta-analysis from Dr. Tess Lawrie in the UK, the Belgian virologist shares that based on 15 randomized controlled trials and observational controlled trials, the ivermectin treatment reduces deaths by an average of 83% (95% Cl 65%-92%). He shares that based on the Dr. Lawrie meta-analysis, the drug also reduces the risk of deterioration by 53% (95% Cl 23%-71). Furthermore, Wathelet cites Lawrie that the drug used as prophylaxis given to health care workers or relatives can reduce the risk of infection by 88% (95% Cl 82%-92%). He aligns with America-based Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) Wathelet suggesting a “Multi-pronged approach” to treating COVID-19, including treatments used at early onset, vaccines, social distancing and other measures such as face masks.
With about 11.5 million people, Belgium experienced a scary spike in the pandemic during the month of November. The total number of cases has declined, but nonetheless, the country still reports between 15,00 and 2,500 cases per day. In total, Belgium has recorded 735,220 cases with 21,599 deaths.
In addition to discussing dosage scenarios recently in Hospital Pharmacy Europe, the Belgian virologist wonders aloud with the audience what’s the root cause of the resistance to the use of the drug? Reviewing each ostensibly scientific objection, the virologist comes to the conclusion that implementing such a plan as the one he ponders would require “tremendous leadership.”
Call to Action: Read the article in its entirety at Hospital Pharmacy Europe.