The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said that three clinical trials on the efficacy of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment in South Africa may start soon. SAHPRA has addressed Parliament’s Health portfolio committee on the Ivermectin issue, as well as the country’s vaccine rollout. The High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of an urgent court application, granting medical practitioners the right to prescribe the drug to patients both as a treatment and preventative measure for the Coronavirus.
Efficacy trials putting Ivermectin’s COVID-19 benefits to the test are expected to start soon. Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, SAHPRA CEO, said that clinical trials from the universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch and Wits are expected to shed light on the drug’s benefits.
“Last week, we had a meeting with the scientific community where we are expecting three chemical trials studies to be submitted. We engaged the universities of Free State, Wits University could possibly also submit, as well as Stellenbosch University.”
Professor Helen Rees said that they had allowed the controlled, “off label” use of Ivermectin while waiting for more data on the drug’s reported potency to treat COVID-19.
“We wanted to make sure that if doctors who felt very strongly that they wanted to have access to Ivermectin – as I said, there are doctors on both sides of the fence who have very different views – but for those who did, at least we can ensure that the product they’ve applied for and that the product they’re getting is a product that is designed for human consumption and the dosage is known to them.”
The regulator had by Wednesday received over 34 Section 21 applications for Ivermectin use.