Clinical Trials and Research News Weekly Roundup | South Africa: Authorities Raid Hospital in Search of Ivermectin

South African Authorities Raid Hospital in Search of #Ivermectin:
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (#SAHPRA) apparently isn’t going soft on compassionate use scenarios involving Ivermectin. As TrialSite reported, the authorities in this countries recently criminalized the importation of the drug, even for hospitals or physicians seeking to treat ill COVID-19 patients. Apparently, the authorities are treating the commonly used antiparasitic drug as a controlled substance raiding a private Durban hospital that apparently had brought ivermectin into the country for purposes of prescriptions. A criminal case was opened after police and SAHPRA officials raided the facility known as Ahmed Al-Kadi recently after a tipster led them to the hospital. Unlike many other African nations where the drug is approved for both humans and animals, this isn’t the case in South #Africa.

Ivermectin in the Middle of Growing Political Tensions in South Africa:

The South African pollical party known as the National Freedom Party or “NFP” appears perturbed that a well-known, economical generic drug used throughout much of Africa to fight parasites has been banned from importation in that country with threat of criminal prosecution. As TrialSite recently reported about the decision by the South African health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), it seemed coincidental that after a recent presentation about the meta-analysis evaluating Ivermectin studies in association to COVID-19 that the national drug regulator’s response was to threaten anybody that imports the drug with jail. This appeared just a bit of a draconian approach. Why not verify the growing number of studies with a clinical trial? TrialSite did acknowledge South Africa for updating its national guidelines (including Ivermectin for research), which is more than many other nations have done as of late. Now, however, the NFP is threatening imminent legal action, making the case that the drug should be properly reviewed by medical authorities and rolled out to its citizenry as a therapy while they await vaccination. Their argument: it can be used for the 90% that haven’t been vaccinated yet to protect them from getting sick. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reports the country has signed up with COVAX, the global pool that helps developing nations obtain vaccine product. The financing is still getting worked out but reports from local media are that they seek to immunize 67% of the population by the end of 2021. So that’s quite a while to wait, suggests NFP MP Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam, who declared they are headed to the courts if the South African government continued to use draconian laws to keep it away from those that want a treatment. With the worst COVID-19 situation in the continent, the NFP’s point is a lot of death can be avoided in the duration awaiting a vaccine to reach everyone. Of course, the SAHPRA’s point is that there isn’t enough evidence as of yet.

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