Since the national Indian guidelines included Ivermectin recently, as reported by TrialSite, the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand announced it too is now preparing to distribute the antiparasitic drug as a “mass chemoprophylaxis,” following the lead of not only Uttar Pradesh but also Goa and Karnataka. This decision was issued by Chief Secretary Om Prakash to all district magistrates based on the outcomes from a recommendation involving a “state-level clinical technical committee.” With an aim of widespread control of the COVID-19 surge, this measure is in addition to many vaccination drives. The Uttarakhand Health Department and associated district magistrates will deliver an Ivermectin-based home kit, including 12 mg tablets, to families across the state.
The Prophylactic Regimen
Located in the far north of India with about 10.1 million people, the Uttarakhand health department has established a home kit regimen involving 12 mg tablets of Ivermectin to individuals over the age of 15, to be taken twice per day after the breakfast meal and then again after dinner for a period of three days. For children aged 10 to 15 years of age, they will be limited to one daily tablet and those children ages 2 to 10 will receive the drug only upon the advice of a credentialed physician. The regimen is excluded for children under 2 in addition to pregnant women and those suffering from liver diseases. It is reported that the kit comes along with instructions covering both the consumption and age-driven dosage requirements.
Goa & Karnataka Regimens
Both Goa and Karnataka are rolling out mass Ivermectin programs in a bid to reduce infection, transmission, and death rates associated with COVID-19. TrialSite reported two days ago that the State of Goa embraced the national Ivermectin guidelines, and as reported in The Mint and other outlets, Vishwajit Rane, Goa’s Health Minister, declared that all people 18 years and up would have access to the generic drug regardless of COVID-19 status in an aggressive bid to lower infection rates and total deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2.
In Goa, the regimen includes 12 mg taken for five days based on data from purported “expert panels” from Europe. The local press outlets didn’t mention any institutions or names associated with these panels. Interestingly, some medical experts report that this five-day regimen isn’t enough and that as a prophylactic, the therapy should be administered until the contagion is better under control.
Meanwhile, yesterday in Karnataka, C. N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister and head of the state’s COVID-19 task force, shared with local media that they have procured 10 lakh Ivermectin tablets due to arrive on May 14. The Karnataka government will purchase 25 lakh tablets with the goal of distribution to all hospitals.
World Health Organization Edict
The World Health Organization (WHO) has gone on the record that Ivermectin should only be administered in clinical trials. That message aligns with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other groups, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
WHO’s Chief Scientist tweeted on Tuesday that “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. @WHO recommends against the use of ivermectin for #COVID19 except within clinical trials.”
On the other hand, mounting data from a range of clinical trials have indicated differently as over 50 studies reveal positive outcomes. Those results, however, are critiqued by WHO, EMA, and others that have derived from studies that individually aren’t designed to generate adequate medical evidence. A recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Therapeutics led by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) points to a very different conclusion: that ivermectin in fact should be embraced at least on an emergency use basis depending on what is considered safe and effective outcomes.