Ivermectin for COVID-19 in Peru: 14-fold reduction in nationwide excess deaths, p=.002 for effect by state, then 13-fold increase after ivermectin use restricted

Ivermectin for COVID-19 in Peru 14-fold reduction in nationwide excess deaths, p=.002 for effect by state, then 13-fold increase after ivermectin use restricted

On May 8, 2020, Peru’s Ministry of Health approved ivermectin (IVM), a drug of Nobel Prize-honored distinction, for inpatient and outpatient treatment of COVID-19. As IVM treatments proceeded in that nation of 33 million residents, excess deaths decreased 14-fold over four months through December 1, 2020, consistent with clinical benefits of IVM for COVID-19 found in several RCTs. But after IVM use was sharply restricted under a new president, excess deaths then increased 13-fold.


To evaluate possible IVM treatment effects suggested by these aggregate trends, excess deaths were analyzed by state for ages ≥ 60 in each of Peru’s 25 states. To identify potential confounding factors, Google mobility data, population densities, SARS-CoV-2 genetic variations and seropositivity rates were also examined.


The 25 states of Peru were grouped by extent of IVM distributions: maximal (mass IVM distributions through operation MOT, a broadside effort led by the army); medium (locally managed IVM distributions); and minimal (restrictive policies in one state, Lima). The mean reduction in excess deaths 30 days after peak deaths was 74% for the maximal IVM distribution group, 53% for the medium group and 25% for Lima. Reduction of excess deaths is correlated with extent of IVM distribution by state with a p value of 0.002 using the Kendall τb test, well below the confidence threshold of 0.05 for an established clinical effect.


Mass treatments with IVM, a drug safely used in 3.7 billion doses worldwide, most likely caused the 14-fold reductions in excess deaths in Peru, prior to their 13-fold increase under reversed IVM policy. This strongly suggests that IVM treatments can likewise effectively complement immunizations to help eradicate COVID-19. The indicated biological mechanism of IVM, competitive binding with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, is likely non-epitope specific, possibly yielding full efficacy against emerging viral mutant strains.

Study Authors

Juan J Chamie-Quintero, Universidad EAFIT

Jennifer Hibberd, University of Toronto

David Scheim, US Public Health Service


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  1. Something needs to be clarified here, namely the claim that Ivermectin use was restricted under a new President – I tried to find documentation for that claim but could not. Further, internet search results suggest Peruvian Presidential elections are to be held on April 11, 2021. So when was this supposed new President inaugurated just a few months ago?

    1. Pilar Mazzetti was President, then removed from office. President of Congress Manuel Merino, by process, became the President. Francisco Sagasti was voted in as President of Congress by his fellow congressmen on Nov. 16, 2020. On Nov. 17, 2020 Pilar Mazzetti resigned, making Francisco Sagasti President by process. So, the way I understand it, there was no election.