In Malaysia, the Ministry of Health (MIH), as well as the Institute for Clinical Research, initiated major clinical trials investigating the use and efficacy of Ivermectin for high-risk COVID-19 patients at 12 Ministry of Health hospitals across the nation. Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the General Director of Health, shared in recent media that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug (for fighting several neglected tropical diseases, such as onchocerciasis and strongyloidiasis) believes the evidence is still inconclusive for the standard use against the COVID-19 indication. But the Malay research and health authorities believe the promise is high due to a portfolio of case studies and clinical trials.
COVID-19 in Malaysia
As reported by Johns Hopkins University data, Malaysia has experienced its worst surge of the COVID-19 pandemic starting in April, with reported incidents of infection rising from 1,300 cases reported on April 6 of this year to 8,290 on May 28th and as of June 4, 7,748 daily cases.
This represents the worst second wave of the pandemic, which has impacted other nations in Asia, such as India, of course, but also Thailand and others. TrialSite notes that China continues to completely evade any of the pandemic’s reach in the country.
Ivermectin Not Accepted Off Label
In Malaysia, the General Director of Health Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah recently declared for Malaysian media: “The FDA has not approved Ivermectin for use in treating or preventing Covid-19 in humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) only recommends the use of Ivermectin in a clinical trial setting, in which patients are monitored closely by experienced clinicians and researchers for safety and efficacy.”
Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah recently issued a formal statement emphasizing that there isn’t any conclusive proof for ivermectin as an agent for COVID-19 declaring
“The Ministry of Health Malaysia has initiated a randomized clinical trial to repurpose Ivermectin and evaluate its efficacy and safety in high risk COVID-19 patients (NMRR-21-155-58433). The trial will enroll 500 COVID-19 patients admitted to 12 MOH hospitals. Through this study, MOH hopes to have a correct perspective on the clinical effectiveness of Ivermectin. Although Malaysia’s risk for COVID-19 may be heightened at the moment, we must keep in mind that in all circumstances, we need to take steps necessary to figure out what really works. Without the benefit of evidence from well-designed clinical trials, the Ministry of Health Malaysia is not yet able to endorse Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 illness. Science remains the best weapon against the SARS-Cov-2 virus, not circumstantial hype.”