Local public health agencies in Brazil continue to offer community and ambulatory-based access to COVID-19 treatments not approved or accepted in the United States and other developed economy jurisdictions. A case example is the important state capital in the South of Brazil—Porto Alegre (approximately 1.5 million inhabitants). Based in the state known as Rio Grande do Sul, with an estimated population of 11.3 million population, under “Technical Note 1/2021 of 7/1/21,” the city’s public health department now offers not only Ivermectin but also Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine via the numerous municipal health clinics across the city. The health authorities there seek a consistent and methodical early treatment of COVID-19 that includes 1) a medical prescription—available at the clinics from licensed physicians; 2) clinics with licensed pharmacist and/or 3) a signed “term of acceptance” to be attached to the clinical record; and 4) systematized care coordination follow up. Repurposed therapies are not accepted at the national level in Brazil nor are they accepted as an acceptable treatment in America or most of Europe, where the economical and available drug is recommended only for research purposes.
Health Equity Sought
As shared by TrialSite correspondent Alan Cannel, The Mayor of this city recently expressed concern that although the middle class of the city are taking advantage of the program, the lower income groups are not, and a form of health equity is sought with the policy.
TrialSite Reminds All About Laws & Rules
TrialSite, a U.S.-based company reports on world events involving research, COVID-19 and treatments and reminds all that the particular approach reported on here is only relevant for the local Brazilian municipalities offering authorization; this approach is not approved nor accepted by U.S. health care authorities. Consequently, it’s emphasized here that use of Hydroxychloroquine by U.S. authorities for example, has been deemed not acceptable for COVID-19.
Note that at the national level the Brazilian food and drug regulator ANVISA doesn’t accept Ivermectin as a treatment.
TrialSite reports that an increasing number of physicians seek treatments for early onset COVID-19 as there have been no breakthroughs despite billions invested by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ACTIV as well as Operation Warp Speed. The $13+ billion and growing spend has overwhelmingly gone toward vaccine development as well as to novel monoclonal antibody development. These are important programs however the concern has been among a growing chorus of societal interests that there has been a lack of sufficient focus on the potential of drug repurposing.