The World Health Organization (WHO) held a media briefing including Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan to discuss the potential of ivermectin as a generic drug, demonstrating some promise as a treatment for at least mild, early-onset COVID-19. Dr. Van Kerkhove, a technical lead of this global organization’s COVID-19 response and expert in emerging diseases and zoonosis, reported that she is carefully monitoring clinical trials and noted that some of these studies, soon to conclude, may trigger WHO to carefully review, analyze and describe a recommendation in the weeks to come.
Dr. Van Kerkhove shared that they currently have data on 1,500 study patients from 11 studies but that ultimately, there could be data involving up to 7,000 patients from a total of 56 studies. Emphasizing that the underlying studies vary in quality, WHO factors that element into their ultimate recommendations. A WHO steering committee will carefully look at the updated data to consider any change in guidance. Van Kerkhove shared that this process is, in fact, expedited; however, she emphasized the incredibly comprehensive review that will ultimately be shared with the public.
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