Recently, TrialSite reported on an abrupt shift in point of view among health officials and regulators concerning the use of Ivermectin targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. The deaths of some prominent politicians and officials perhaps brought some perspective that no one is immune from this deadly virus. With spikes of COVID-19 infections reaching over 30,000 now, the government doubled down and moved to make what is known as “the People’s Medicine” in Bangladesh available to the public via prescription from a licensed medical professional. Robert Rukwata, acting director of the Health and Child Care, and acting secretary Robert Mudyiradima sent a letter to this southern African nation’s Medicines Control Authority instructing them to allow large importation of the drug for human use. Commenting that the government must first ensure patient health, they also conveyed that they could not “deny them effective treatments regimens” during the COVID-19 crisis. Essentially introducing emergency authorization, the Ivermectin wave cannot be stopped now as nation after nation, most first of course in lower to middle-income countries (LMICs), seek to protect their populations while they await mass vaccination schemes.
Perhaps based in part on the regimen offered by Dr. Tarek Alam of Bangladesh Medical College in Dhaka, Bangladesh (the People’s Medicine)—a combination of Ivermectin an antibiotic Doxycycline—a local medical provider there, Dr. Jackie Stone, started prescribing Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Nano Silver as a regimen in this nation. Technically, Dr. Stone was breaking the law and hence controversy followed. The regulators here took a strong line against the use, declaring there was no evidence.
Stone was becoming a problem and increasingly the medical establishment here was zeroing in on her—the Medical and Dental Professional Council of Zimbabwe wrote a letter of complaint about the physician’s behavior, reports local media. But Dr. Stone stood her ground, declaring that by use of this regimen, about 75% of the COVID-19 deaths could have been avoided. Now the authorities have softened far more and mass importation now commences.
Of course, there is in fact a lot of evidence and regulatory authorities across the world, especially those influenced by apex research bodies in North American and Europe, and perhaps the pharmaceutical lobby are truly showing resistance to accepting countless trials demonstrating promising data. The typical line of attack is that the studies are of “low quality.” But meta-analysis from researchers and doctors in both the United States and the United Kingdom tell a very different story—one that shows incredible promise. Could it be that entrenched interests are against a cheap, generic drug as an option for COVID-19?
As reported by TrialSite to the West along with local Zimbabwe media such as 24 News, the deaths of prominent figures such as four government ministers, a former Commissioner-General and a high up military figure jarred this southeastern landlocked African nation. For whatever reason, as the pandemic spiked initially in the Spring of 2020, this part of Africa wasn’t much impacted. That has changed now.
The recent edict from the government directors read, “It is in this regard that authority is granted for you to proceed under Section 75 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act to allow importation and use of these medicines under the supervision and guidance you outlined” wrote secretary Mudyiradima. With this order, now “Ivermectin can be evaluated for both treatment and prophylaxis (prevention).”
While the drug is authorized for compassionate use and research, TrialSite suspects the research as a care option imperative is at work here. This means that Ivermectin will become the standard of care for treating COVID-19 here soon if not already. The use of Ivermectin doesn’t conflict with vaccination schemes, however poorer countries, such as this one, are not at the top of the vaccination VIP list.
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