A February 4 press release from Merck is raising yet more questions about why research money is not going to ivermectin and why this seemingly effective drug is so underutilized, even in North American research. In the statement Merck, one of America’s great pharmaceutical companies and manufacturer of the Stromectol/Mectizan branded versions of ivermectin, claims that: 1) there is no evidence that ivermectin works for COVID-19, and 2) there is a “concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies,” suggesting that the drug may be unsafe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) held a media briefing including Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan to discuss the potential of ivermectin as a generic drug, demonstrating some promise as a treatment for at least mild, early-onset COVID-19. Dr. Van Kerkhove, a technical lead of this global organization’s COVID-19 response and expert in emerging diseases and zoonosis, reported that she is carefully monitoring clinical trials and noted that some of these studies, soon to conclude, may trigger WHO to carefully review, analyze and describe a recommendation in the weeks to come.
A European Union-based double-blind study, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial involving ivermectin in 100 patients with mild COVID-19 recently produced results for the world. Based in the Eastern European nation of Bulgaria, the clinical trial was organized after scientists here learned of the data revealing that the drug blocks penetration of SARS-CoV-2’s transport protein into the cell nucleus and thus inhibits or hinders replication, which could possibly be of use in combating this pandemic.