The Mediclinic group has released a statement on their position on the use of ivermectin.
The hospital group acknowledges the fact that there are some studies that claim that ivermectin prevents the progression to severe disease or assists with the recovery in Covid-19 patients, but concludes that there is currently still insufficient clinical data to recommend the use of the widely controversial drug for the prophylaxis or treatment of Covid-19.
Currently it is used only in a research setting until the safety and efficacy is proven.
This data is backed up by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) which also concludes that there is insufficient evidence. SAHPRA has however approved ivermectin for compassionate use. Doctors may apply for permission should they wish to follow this treatment protocol.
“Dr Emmanuel Taban observed that two out of three patients presenting for Covid-19 related care at Mediclinic Midstream during this third wave have been exposed to ivermectin as they believed it would present them from contracting Covid-19 or from progression to severe disease. Although some of the recorded side effects observed from the use of ivermectin include deranged liver function tests, post-mortems were not performed on his deceased patients who were using ivermectin,” says Mediclinic.
“Mediclinic supports Dr Taban in his commitment to provide the best possible care for patients and believe that this must be done within the specific regulated environment that governs our industry.”
Why does SAHPRA not recommend ivermectin?
During a briefing to the portfolio committee on health yesterday, the CEO of SAHPRA, Biotumelo Semete-Makokotlela, confirmed that ivermectin should only be used in a research setting. “Ivermectin should not be used in the management of Covid-19, except in randomised clinical trials.”
The committee also heard that the evidence from trials for the use of ivermectin is of “low methodological quality”. The sample sizes of the groups used is very small to be of significance and the methodology used makes is difficult to compare data.