MANILA, May 1 (Mabuhay) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating reports that prescriptions for ivermectin were written on a sheet of paper and not on a prescription pad during the distribution of the anti-parasitic drug in Quezon City on Thursday.
“Our regulatory enforcement unit is looking into the situation,” FDA chief Eric Domingo said.
Earlier in the day, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the FDA must probe reports of “token” prescriptions that were issued during the ivermectin distribution project of Representatives Rodante Marcoleta and Mike Defensor.
Duque stressed that under the law, prescriptions must contain the name of the prescriber, an address, professional registration number, and tax receipt number as well as the patient’s name, age, sex, and date of prescription, among others.
Marcoleta, Defensor, and the group Concerned Doctors and Citizens PH distributed ivermectin despite repeated warnings of the FDA and Department of Health (DOH) that it is unregistered and not a COVID-19 treatment.
However, Duque also said any ivermectin distribution cannot be considered illegal if it was done under a compassionate special permit or was prescribed by a doctor and compounded by a duly licensed pharmacist — exemptions that were set by the FDA.
This has led the Quezon City government to urge the DOH and FDA to make a clear stand on the use of ivermectin.
The Department of Justice also said that the “soundness” of the legal basis of FDA’s exemptions merit “further study.”
The World Health Organization, US FDA, European Medicines Agency, and ivermectin manufacturer Merck all stressed that they do not support the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment based on current evidence. (MNS)