The Rescue Group (Grupo Rescue) is a leading national private health network in the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic. The Rescue Group operates three hospitals, including Punta Cana Medical Center, Bournigal Medical Center (Puerto Plata) and Canela Clinic (La Romana) as well as affiliated referral hospitals, urgent care facilities, and an in-home service in addition to 17 emergency hotel medical centers. José Natalio Redondo, the group’s president, is renowned in Latin America for the incredible success of his Ivermectin protocol used at the Rescue Group hospitals. Dr. Redondo took the time to speak with TrialSite News about the success of the Ivermectin treatment: they have treated 1,300 early stage COVID-19 patients and have observed dramatic results.
Dr. Jose Natalio Redondo runs an organization that has grown to three hospitals and a collection of affiliated practices and clinics. With about 1,000 employees, they are perhaps the largest private health network in the Dominican Republic. This beautiful island nation of about 10.6 million is known more for stunning tropical resorts, fine rum and cigars not to mention dynamic and innovative health care solutions, but under Dr. Redondo’s leadership, they have found a striking discovery: that the anti-parasite medication Ivermectin, with over a trillion doses given a year for fighting off parasites in primarily tropical, developing nations, actually works. In fact, Dr. Redondo reported to TrialSite News the following data based on treating 1,300 COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin:
· 99% of them have been cured
· The average duration of the full infection went from 21 days to 10 days
· The drug starts inhibiting the virus within a couple days in humans
· The only side effects have been mild heart burn and diarrhea
What follows is the interview. TrialSite News has been investigating off label use of this approved and safe anti-parasitic medicine all over the world. Interviews have occurred in the United States, (Broward County), Bangladesh, India, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, France and now the Dominican Republic. Enough data exists for the health authorities in the United States to start a serious inquiry. Too many lives have been lost and with a focus on expensive investigational medicine for those severely to critical ill; and while important, it is just as important to systematically and methodically treat early stage cases to reduce the numbers of severe to critical cases.
How did you learn about Ivermectin & How did it become a treatment in Dominican Republic?
Of course we know of Ivermectin for anti-parasite medicine but we first learned about the Monash University lab experiment and then a network formed in Latin America to begin studying how it could be used to help people who fell ill to SARS-CoV-2—e.g. COVID-19.
Has the national health authorities approved of Ivermectin?
No. They are following WHO and other funders’ guidance.
How have you been able to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin?
The hospitals have approved our protocol for use of an approved human anti-parasitic drug off label for the novel coronavirus.
Dominican Republic has over 32,000 cases of COVID-19 and 747 reported deaths. How come the authorities are not following Rescue Group’s lead?
A confluence of factors and forces, including the fact that A) they follow WHO, U.SA and other guidance (based on funding); and B) government health moves much slower than the private sector. We have more flexibility.
What is the treatment amounts?
Well we started with what is in the standard anti-parasite protocol of 100 to 200 micrograms per kilogram and have progressed that to 400 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight. We also include it with Azithromycin.
How many patients have you treated and what has been the success rate?
Of the 1,300 patients we have treated (early state cases), over 99% have been cured within 8 to 10 days. It has been frankly amazing. It’s truly feels like a gift from above.
Have there been any adverse events/side effects?
Yes, but a very minimal number reported and it comes down to heart burn and mild diarrhea. But again, it is a small number of cases.
Tell us more about this Ivermectin physician network.
Yes there is a network of doctors/health professionals sharing protocols, collaborating and focused on catching the disease (COVID-19) early and working furiously and tirelessly to reduce the health, economic and social consequences of this pandemic. This network includes doctors in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and more.
Have doctors from the United States contacted you? If so, what is your sense as to how many doctors in America are using Ivermectin for COVID-19 patients?
Yes. Several doctors have contacted me and I have been in touch with the doctor in Broward County TSN interviewed. I don’t know how many doctors in America have embraced Ivermectin but it is a lot and that number is growing every day. It is kept sort of a secret in the United States.
On that note, why do you think that is?
Well, economics. The big drug companies cannot really profit off of a generic drug that is in use worldwide for treating parasites. Moreover, the priorities are wrong. A key along with a vaccine is to work to treat the disease early: stop it from progressing to a more severe state. It is a horrific death from COVID-19. We don’t really understand this disease fully yet. But we do know we lose our family members, and the death rate once the disease progresses to the severe to critical state is very high.
What is your main treatment philosophy?
First, we must do everything within our power to address this disease earlier in the process. That is why the development of anti-viral medications targeting COVID-19 are so important. Ivermectin happens to have an incredible inhibiting effect on COVID-19 and we were pragmatic. Dominican Republic is blessed with beauty everywhere, incredible people and a great potential for business but it is still a relatively poor country. We don’t have the time to wait. We must treat as many people as possible and reduce the number of severe to critical cases.
Second, a vaccine must be developed.
What is the benefit of treating people earlier with Ivermectin?
The results speak for themselves. Going from 21 days down to 10 days for average disease duration is incredible. Remember the remdesivir numbers (14 to 11 days) is hospitalization/severe cases. If you compare the results of Ivermectin and Remdesivir, well the latter really isn’t to treat a majority of the people who have a mild cases. After all, for Remdesivir it is for more progressed cases, involves an intravenous administration, etc.
Then lets talk about the health, economic and social benefit of cutting 10 days out of the sickness and reducing the amount of time a person is contagious with COVID-19. This has been a huge impact. A huge value to society. Look at what this pandemic has done to the global economy! Look at New York City—the greatest city with per capital perhaps the greatest doctors and health systems yet look at the amount of death and the impact. It is horrific; a tragedy.
Who is producing the product? And did any American drug companies contact you?
Yes, at one point Merck was in touch with us. We work with a local Dominican pharmaceutical company called Infaca.
What about those that say we must have critical trials results first before treatments?
Well it is very expensive to conduct clinical trials. In developed nations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, countries in Africa and some in Asia we must act now to stop the disease from progressing and spreading. We have an investigation we are in fact undertaking and there are other good studies in the works from Johns Hopkins University to Sheba Medical Center in Israel. But those will take some time. The network in Latin America and the Caribbean has acted on observational, off label data, and it is working. After all, over a trillion doses of Ivermectin are given annually for fighting parasites. It is an incredibly safe drug.
Are you open to expanding the network collaborating on this off label protocol to other nations where Ivermectin is approved by regulatory authorities?
Yes, of course. I got into medicine to help treat people; save lives. This is the mission. We invite doctors from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere to contact us to learn more.
About Rescue Group
The Rescue Group is a leading national private health network in the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic. The Rescue Group operates three hospitals, including Punta Cana Medical Center, Bournigal Medical Center, (Puerto Plata) and Canela Clinic (La Romana) as well as affiliated referral hospitals, urgent care facilities and an in-home service in addition to 17 emergency hotel medical centers. Hospitals within Rescue Group earn quality accreditations such as Punta Cana Medical Center, which became the first hospital in the Dominican Republic to receive international GOLD Accreditation by Qmentum International-Accreditation Canada.
Dr. José Natalio Redondo, President Rescue Group
Call to Action: Physicians and investigators interested in learning more can contact Dr. Redondo directly at his email address: [email protected].