LETTER: On Jan 22, it was announced that the Ministry of Health (MOH) would be conducting clinical trials for two medicines, Ivermectin and Favipiravi, to determine their efficacy in treating Covid-19.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has acknowledged that Ivermectin "is cheap, easily available and safe for use." But in Malaysia, it is only licensed for use in animals.
Ivermectin is listed so far as an essential anti-parasitic drug by the World Health Organisation and it is also an approved drug in the US by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic & anti-viral drug, was originally developed by Japan in 1975. More than 3.7 billion doses have been distributed globally and used by many millions of people during the last 30 years or so, with no reported adverse side effects or deaths from people taking it.
Ivermectin has an impeccable safety record second to none. Many recent studies from around the world have also found Ivermectin to be very effective in both preventing and treating Covid-19.
The global situation has been changing fast in favour of using Ivermectin against Covid-19. The usual argument against Ivermectin (some big pharma firms involved in Covid-19 vaccine development may oppose its use as they understandably feel threatened by it) that "there is insufficient data to support its use" is no longer valid today.
On 26 January 2021, Slovakia became the first European Union nation to approve the use of Ivermectin against Covid-19.
As a result of presentations at the US Senate Hearing (https://youtu.be/k8RyV3VEDKI) on Dec 7, 2020 by Dr Pierre Kory, President of FLCCC (Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care) Alliance, along with Dr Andrew Hill, Researcher & Consultant to World Health Organisation (WHO), the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), on Jan 14, decided to upgrade Ivermectin from the status of "against" for the treatment of Covid-19 to "neither for or against", thereby making it an option for the doctors concerned to use in preventing and treating Covid-19.
The upgrade by NIH might seem a small step forward for medical legitimacy for Ivermectin to be used against Covid-19, but nevertheless, it was a significant one as it has freed many doctors the option of using Ivermectin against Covid-19 without feeling the undue pressure or burden to do so.
The US Government agencies involved in health have been criticized at the above Senate Hearing for giving due attention to expensive drugs & vaccines with huge commercial interest and funding, and not being bothered to pay any attention to safe, cheap and effective generic drugs (such as Ivermectin), which would not generate large profits for the big pharma firms.
In view of the worsening case on Covid-19 infections in our country, many unanswered questions and lack of data on the long term safety aspects of the Pfizer experimental mRNA vaccine (which our country has already been ordered) and the current production problems faced by vaccine manufacturers overseas (with the possibility of delays), the government here should have a "PLAN B".
It should quickly approve Ivermectin to provide a safe, cheap and effective "weapon" against Covid-19. The clinical trials by MOH on the efficacy of Ivermectin can continue but we should not need to wait (and let many more people suffer and die from Covid-19 in the meantime) since Ivermectin has ALREADY been PROVEN to be VERY SAFE over the last 30 years or so.
What have we got to lose by approving Ivermectin today In Malaysia as an option for doctors to prescribe against Covid-19?
MOH has already given Conditional Approval to the controversial Pfizer experimental mRNA vaccine (which was given Emergency Authorisation by their US FDA despite the inconclusive human clinical trials in US) without having to do any clinical trials in Malaysia.
DR ABD KADIR WARSI MOHAMAD
Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM)
CAPTAIN (R) DR WONG ANG PENG
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (PATRIOT)
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE (R) DATUK SHABUDIN ABDUL WAHAB
Covid Research Centre, Asian Heritage Museum (AHM) Group
TUNKU AZWIL TUNKU ABD RAZAK
Gabungan NGO Islam (GNI)
PROF DR MUSTAFA ALI MOHD
Clinical Pharmacologist & Toxicologist
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times