Lawmakers push alternative COVID cure

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has urged the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to inform the public of options available to them in terms of prevention and treatment against the deadly virus as the numbers of COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

“With coronavirus cases surging and more people dying, regulators should find it necessary to look into the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin and other repurposed drugs for COVID-19,” Velasco said. “People have become desperate for a cure. Fast-tracking clinical trials and processes to either grant Ivermectin an emergency use authority or conclusively declaring it unsafe will put the matter to rest.”

Velasco expressed belief that people need alternative remedies to COVID-19. “These are desperate times that call for a more proactive regulatory approach,” he said.

This developed as House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera welcomed as an “initial victory” the recommendation for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lift the ban on the production of Ivermectin, which has been described by its proponents as a “fundamentally potent cure” for COVID-19.

“This could be a major step to recognizing Ivermectin as an inexpensive and effective alternative medicine for the deadly coronavirus disease,” Herrera said.

Originally intended for use by animals, Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug being used in many countries to prevent and treat COVID-19.

The FDA earlier ordered pharmaceutical firms to halt production of Ivermectin for human consumption as drug for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

But it was learned on Friday that two FDA food-drug regulation officers—Cristal Jule Dolendo and Michael Galang—have recommended to the FDA head office to lift the directive.

This came three days after the House of Representatives, upon the instructions of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, conducted a motu proprio investigation on the controversial FDA directive.

Herrera maintained that the human-grade Ivermectin is a cost-effective drug that could help dramatically reduce COVID-19 deaths.

“We were right all along that Ivermectin can be considered for our kababayans who have been looking for an affordable cure against COVID-19,” the Bagong Henerasyon lawmaker said.

Herrera thanked Velasco for paving the way for a congressional hearing that helped inform the public about treatment options for COVID-19.

She also thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who, according to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, had instructed FDA Director General Eric Domingo to fast-track the review on Ivermectin as potential cure for the coronavirus disease.

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