Experimental Covid-19 Treatment Puts Responsibility on Doctors

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has announced that doctors will be able to apply for access to the experimental COVID-19 treatment ivermectin in terms of section 21 of the Medicines Act. Section 21 is a mechanism that allows for access to medicines that SAHPRA has not yet approved. In allowing section 21 applications as part of a controlled compassionate access programme, SAHPRA has essentially shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the anti-parasitic ivermectin is safe and effective enough to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 to doctors. This places an enormous responsibility on doctors, since doctors who do decide to prescribe the drug will be responsible for any potential side effects.


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