Ivermectin Study Boosts South African Regulator's Court Defence

Four court cases have been launched against the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to compel the regulator to make ivermectin available for the treatment of Covid-19. Among the applicants are lobby group AfriForum and the African Christian Democratic Party. However, not a single peer-reviewed clinical trial in a leading medical journal has shown that ivermectin is effective against coronaviruses, writes Elsabé Brits for GroundUp. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug, used to treat river blindness.

The only ivermectin products approved by SAHPRA are for veterinary use. Now the results of a trial published in the prestigious Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) should strengthen SAHPRA's case.

Among 398 adults with mild Covid-19 symptoms, a five-day course of ivermectin compared with a placebo did not significantly improve symptoms. Previously, the SAHPRA said that doctors could apply for access to the experimental Covid-19 treatment ivermectin in terms of section 21 of the Medicines Act. This, however, shifted responsibility for the treatment's efficacy on doctors.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease graphic.(file photo).

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