THROUGH informed consent with doctor’s prescription, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor and Deputy Speaker and Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta on Thursday said they see hope in the war against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic during the distribution to the poorest of the poor of Ivermectin in Quezon City.
Defensor said the beneficiaries who are in dire need of Ivermectin as potential treatment for COVID-19 were happy to receive ten human grade Ivermectin pills for free in the presence of doctors during the launching of “Ivermectin Pan-three” in Matandang Old Balara Hall Park in Quezon City.
“Ang nakalista lang dito (Matandang Balara) 35 eh, kaso may taga-ibang lugar na nagpunta so tutulungan na rin namin. So from here bababa kami sa bahay-bahay,” Defensor told reporters in an ambush interview, adding that more or less 200 individuals have received Ivermectin.
During the launching, Defensor and Marcoleta were accompanied by four doctors namely Allan Landrito, Iggy Agbayani, Noel Castillo and Sham Quinto.
“Sabi nila para sa hayop, eh ‘di ba hayop naman talaga tayo. Ginagawa talaga nila ‘yan, ikaw ay mas mataas, ‘di ka umiinom ng Ivermectin, kailan ba naman nangyari na ang gamot may mas matas o mababa? Ang gamot ay gamot…san ka pa makakakita ng gamot na napakamura at napakabisa?” Landrito, president of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines, said during the launching.
Like Defensor, Marcoleta expressed belief that Ivermectin is effective in preventing and treating patients with COVID-19.
“Nakita nyo naman na lumabas ang mga doktor, nasa publiko. Hindi naman nila siguro isasakripisyo ang sarili nilang lisensiya [kung hindi epektibo ang Ivermectin],” Marcoleta said.
“Kunwari nasugatan si [dating] Cong. Bingbong (Crisologo), halimbawa sa giyera, may dahon, sasabihin teka muna tanungin muna sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration) kung tatanggapin ‘iyang dahon na ‘yan. Wala ho tayong gamot ngayon. Pati bakuna wala pa ho eh. May nagsabi na three billion Ivermectin ang ginamit sa Africa, walang namatay…kahit mapagkamalan pa tayong nagtutulak ng gamot pero kung itong gamot namang ito ay makagagamot, palagay ko nasa tamang paraan tayo,” Marcoleta said in defending their distribution of Ivermectin.
Crisologo and his son, Quezon City Rep. Onyx Crisologo were also there during the Ivermectin distribution.
Defensor asked the FDA and Department of Health (DoH) to give fair treatment to Ivermectin like to any other potential medication for COVID-19.
“Kasi ‘di ba, itong mga gamot na Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, at maging ‘yung mga antibiotic, lahat naman ‘yan sinasabi nila na hindi naman ‘yan ang gamot eh dahil wala pa namang gamot sa COVID-19, so I think to be fair with Ivermectin, it should be treated the same way,” Defensor said.
Remdesivir pricing has been increased from P3,000 to P5,000 per shot to as high as P12,000 to P27,000.
Atty. Larry Gadon also asked Health Sec. Francisco Duque III to prove that the World Health Organization (WHO) was wrong in issuing a conditional recommendation last year against the use of Remdesivir in hospitalized patients, regardless of disease severity by imposing a price cap.
Gadon said WHO pointed out there is currently no alleged evidence that Remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes in these patients.
Defensor also clarified that their group strictly followed and complied with the FDA rules in the distribution of Ivermectin.
“Ito lang ang DoH ang magulo na maraming sinasabi na iba na naman,” Defensor said.
The FDA of the Department of Health (DoH) has yet to register Ivermectin drug in the country for human use.
But FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said that people can use Ivermectin through doctor’s prescription and assistance of licensed compounding laboratories and pharmacies and through doctors and hospitals that got compassionate special permit (CSP).
In cooperation with Lifecore Bio-Integrative, Inc., the Malayang Quezon City and the Concerned Doctors and Citizens- Phils (CDC-PH), Anakalusugan and Sagip party-list groups, Defensor said the launching “INVERMECTIN PAN-THREE” initiative will go to other barangays in Quezon City.