South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) apparently isn’t going soft on compassionate use scenarios involving Ivermectin. As TrialSite reported, the authorities in this countries recently criminalized the importation of the drug, even for hospitals or physicians seeking to treat ill COVID-19 patients. Apparently, the authorities are treating the commonly used antiparasitic drug as a controlled substance raiding a private Durban hospital that apparently had brought ivermectin into the country for purposes of prescriptions. A criminal case was opened after police and SAHPRA officials raided the facility known as Ahmed Al-Kadi recently after a tipster led them to the hospital. Unlike many other African nations where the drug is approved for both humans and animals, this isn’t the case in South Africa.
The raid was led by the regulatory authority’s Yugen Gounden that reports they couldn’t find any contraband but identified proof it was indeed there. According to South African’s East Coast Radio local media Gounden declared, “We acted on the information that we received, that ivermectin has been prescribed and dispensed at this hospital. We questioned the responsible pharmacist as well as the hospital manager and both confirmed that somebody had dropped a parcel with this drug, apparently a doctor. And they dispensed it.”
In what is a very different world than a place like the United States, the drug regulatory went on, “For SAHPRA this is irresponsible and it runs contrary to professional practice, especially for a responsible pharmacist as well as a medical professional. So SAHPRA has decided to pursue a criminal case.”
Hospital Manager Dumbfounded
Meanwhile Ebrahim Asmal, the hospital manager issued a formal statement confirming that officials visited the provider facility and that ivermectin was in fact not found. The hospital has referred the matter to their attorneys.
Other Ivermectin Arrests
Apparently, the demand for ivermectin has intensified in the African nation which has been most hit by COVID-19. While entering the country, a 43 year old man from Durban was stopped at King Shaka airport as authorities found 2, 500 ivermectin tablets in his carry on luggage. Arrested for breaking the new law, the defendant has already appeared before the Verulam Magistrates Court.
As SAHPRA has decided to take a draconian stance they risk further alienating a population in growing fear—the nation of South Africa hasn’t finalized vaccine deals yet and the latest estimates were that it would probably take the full year to get the entire nation (or close to it) vaccinated.
Ahmed Al-Kadi is a private hospital in Durban named after a well known physician named Ahmed Elkadi who passed away in 2009. A cardio-thoracic and vascular surgeon, he apparently committed to serving others and was active in the United States and North America in the Islamic community there. He visited South Africa several times and helped establish the Islamic Medical Association in this African country in 1979.