South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) Bans Ivermectin with Criminal Liability

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) Bans Ivermectin with Criminal Liability

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has banned the importation of Ivermectin into the country. Used to treat people and animals against parasites for decades now, the drug has been hailed as a revolutionary regimen since the 1980s: since then, billions of people primarily in the tropics have been treated, and consequently, a well-known safety profile emerged. However, with growing chatter about the benefits of the drug in relation to COVID-19 (based on dozens of case series, observational and randomized controlled studies), Dr. Boitumelo Semete-Makokotela, SAHPRA’s chief executive, recently declared, “Our stance is unambiguous. This drug is not approved by SAPHRA, and any attempt to import it into the country will be dealt with by SAHPRA’s regulatory compliance unit in conjunction with law enforcement agencies such as SAPS and the SIU.” Moreover, the regulatory head pointed at a whistleblower contact to the public should anybody be aware of such activity. Given the drug’s pervasive use throughout the African continent to fight parasitic infection, the move comes at an interesting time, where mounting data points to the possible benefits of the drug. Why...

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