- The Department of Health has discouraged the use of Ivermectin for the management of Covid-19
- The government has opted to wait until studies into the medication's efficacy are concluded
- The NEMLC says that it has carefully considered all evidence available at this point
The Department of Health has discouraged the use of Ivermectin for the management of the Covid-19 virus.
Department spokesperson Popo Maga says that this is until the study on the medication's efficacy and safety is concluded.
Maga says that the National Essential Medicines List Committee Covid-19 Sub-Committee has considered all the available evidence:
“Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend Ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Some studies have suggested that Ivermectin may be of benefit of management of COVID-19, however the evidence that is currently available is preliminary and of low quality."
Studies, according to the spokesperson, vary widely on the topic at this point in time but more are currently being conducted:
“Several studies are currently underway exploring efficacy and safety of Ivermectin in the management of COVID-19. The outcomes of these studies will provide the department with more scientific data to make informed decisions on the usage of Ivermectin to manage the pandemic.
Maga confirmed that the sub-committee will be continuously reviewing and amending the recommendations as new information on the medication becomes available, but made the current stance abundantly clear:
"In the meantime, we discourage the use of Ivermectin outside of well-conducted randomised controlled trials."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has declared that they will allow the use of the medication Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19.
The authority has said that they will highlight all the necessary processes in the next few days.
“We at SAHPRA have considered all of this, and the approach that we will be taking going forward is that we will facilitate a controlled access programme for Ivermectin," they said in a statement. The authority said that deciding to do this does not mean that they have not considered the lack of evidence that the medication will work."
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