MOH raids general practitioner for prescribing unregulated anti-parasitic drug ivermectin

An illustration photo shows pills in Brussels, Belgium, August 9, 2019. — Reuters pic
An illustration photo shows pills in Brussels, Belgium, August 9, 2019. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — A private clinic in KL has been raided by the Health Ministry, after it supplied the drug ivermectin, usually used to treat parasitic infections in pets here, to its patients by falsely claiming that it can prevent Covid-19.

Free Malaysia Today reported the clinic’s GP Dr Amir Farid Isahak as confirming the raid took place yesterday, but declined to provide further detail.

“I did make the statement, but my lawyer has advised me against making any more statement at this time,” he said.

Dr Amir is referring to a statement he made which was circulated online yesterday, in which he said the slow Covid-19 vaccination rate convinced him to offer the anti-parasitic drug to his patients — claiming it was safe despite the drug not being regulated for Covid-19 use.

“Therefore, I acted according to what I believe, and according to my conscience, to try to save lives,” Dr Amir reportedly said.

On May 16, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the use of Ivermectin has not been approved by the ministry, due to a lack of scientific studies to prove its efficacy.

Both the ministry and its Institute for Clinical Research commenced clinical trials early this month to study Ivermectin’s effects and effectiveness in treating high-risk Covid-19 patients at 12 government hospitals.

At the time, Dr Noor Hisham said the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug’s usage to treat a wide spectrum of diseases, but conclusive evidence recommending its off-label use for Covid-19 patients is not yet forthcoming.

The director-general has been contacted for his response to Dr Amir.

No worldwide health body has approved the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 or as preventive measures, and countries which have previously allowed it like India have since retracted their decisions.

In Malaysia, the drug is being pushed among others by those opposed to the vaccines, alternative medicine practitioners, and some Muslim groups.

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