South African Government

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COVID-19 Coronavirus - Ivermectin

It is dangerous to market Ivermectin as a treatment against COVID-19 as the drug has not been properly tested for humans

  • Ivermectin in the treatment for COVID-19 is still to be verified by relevant authorities.
  • We call on the South Africans and medical professionals not to distribute or take the drug until its safety and efficacy is verified.
  • The unregulated distribution of the drug can lead to sub-standard and falsified products that are harmful to human health.
  • Ivermectin is registered in South Africa for the treatment of parasites in animals under the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act.
  • There is currently no Ivermectin-containing medicines registered for human use in the country.
  • The efficacy, safety and the appropriate dosage for the use of Ivermectin remains uncertain.
  • The South African Health Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) noted that the overall quality of clinical trials of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 patients is poor.
  • Until evidence that is more robust is available, the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 cannot be justified.

All clinical trials on the drug are being closely monitored.

  • The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator has commissioned a systematic review of available clinical trials evidence, but that process has yet to be concluded.
  • More data is required from well-designed randomised clinical trials to demonstrate the safety of Ivermectin.
  • There are some larger clinical trials taking place and it is hoped that the results will become available within the first quarter of 2021.
  • All current available data has been reviewed by the National Essential Medicines Committee COVID-19 Subcommittee and by SAHPRA.

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