SAHPRA: Ivermectin clinical trials to start soon

SAHPRA CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said that clinical trials from the universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch and Wits are expected to shed light on the drug's benefits.

FILE: A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin, a medicine authorized by the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (INVIMA) to treat patients with mild, asymptomatic or suspicious COVID-19, as part of a study of the Center for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Studies, in Cali, Colombia, on July 21, 2020. Picture: Luis Robayo/ AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said that three clinical trials on the efficacy of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment in South Africa may start soon.

SAHPRA has addressed Parliament's Health portfolio committee on the Ivermectin issue, as well as the country's vaccine rollout.

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of an urgent court application, granting medical practitioners the right to prescribe the drug to patients.

Efficacy trials putting Ivermectin's COVID-19 benefits to the test are expected to start soon.

SAHPRA CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said that clinical trials from the universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch and Wits are expected to shed light on the drug's benefits.

"Last week, we had a meeting with the scientific community where we are expecting three chemical trials studies to be submitted. We engaged the universities of Free State, Wits University could possibly also submit, as well as Stellenbosch University."

Professor Helen Rees said that they had allowed the controlled, "off label" use of Ivermectin while waiting for more data on the drug's reported potency to treat COVID-19.

"We wanted to make sure that if doctors who felt very strongly that they wanted to have access to Ivermectin - as I said, there are doctors on both sides of the fence who have very different views - but for those who did, at least we can ensure that the product they've applied for and that the product they're getting is a product that is designed for human consumption and the dosage is known to them."

The regulator had by Wednesday received at least 34 Section 21 applications for Ivermectin use.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.