The National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel just updated their guidelines on ivermectin for COVID-19. Essentially the same guidance as their interim guidance posted last month, a couple weeks past their meeting with the leaders of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and Dr. Andrew Hill affiliated with the University of Liverpool. However, they included more information. Now the apex research body panel introduces a handful of studies for the record. Of note, they did manage to select some of the worst outcome studies of the many that are the basis for both the FLCCC and Dr. Andrew Hill’s meta-analyses. While the FLCCC meta-analysis includes 16 ranomzied controlled ivermectin trials (13 treatment and 3 prophylaxis) Dr. Andrew HIll’s effort includes 22 randomized trials and approaches 3,000 patients. Both the FLCCC and Dr. Hill presented 17 randomized controlled ivermectin studies to the prominent Panel in early January. Apparently, not all of these impressed the NIH’s Panel as they included only 7 such randomized studies and interestingly they made a point to reference one of the worst performing studies globally out of Peru—a retrospective observational cohort study with numerous limitations. That this preeminent body would refer to this particular non-randomized study in this context indicates some bias against progressing this generic candidate. The NIH panel must have some rationale for selecting the studies they in fact selected while precluding not only several other studies but also an overall meta-analysis. They also failed to evaluate dose response data presented in the meta-analyses—many of which have large and statistically significant results.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over 2.3 million lives worldwide, almost half-a-million of those from America. These figures are perhaps well undercounted indicating an even more severe outcome. How history will be written about how government agencies, regulatory bodies, research institutes, biopharma companies and political representatives responded to this unprecedented modern crisis still unfolds. But from one point of view, the story will not be flattering to those in power and with influence today.
Call to Action: Do some homework—read up on the different points of view. Don’t believe just one media (including this one). Look at a variety of sources and use your critical eye to understand more about what’s going on.