Stick to the facts and data, MPs say concerning Covid-19 treatment

Dzulkefly, Dr Lee and Dr Yii reminded th public to not engage in the illegal sale and purchase of Ivermectin under the misguided belief that it can effectively treat Covid-19. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Dzulkefly, Dr Lee and Dr Yii reminded th public to not engage in the illegal sale and purchase of Ivermectin under the misguided belief that it can effectively treat Covid-19. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Three parliamentarians have said it is necessary for evidence to be produced through data and science via clinical studies, before any drug or medication can be safely used to treat ailments.

Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad, Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye, and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said this was the principle of evidence-based medicine.

This includes the approval of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19, which must be based on data gathered through randomised clinical trials being done by the Health Ministry as well as around the world.

“However more recent systemic studies published yesterday by Cochrane Collaboration, which reanalysed the available data until May 26, has come to the conclusion that overall the existing firm evidence does not support the usage of Ivermectin in treating and preventing Covid-19, unless within the context of a neat and orderly study,” they said in a statement.

Dzulkefly, Dr Lee and Dr Yii also cited that the systematic monitoring published in the British Medical Journal, which analysed all data until March 1, came to the conclusion that the evidence for Ivermectin’s benefit is of “very low certainty” due to a lack of methodology and the small size of the study involved.

“Thus, the approval of any treatment for Covid-19 including Ivermectin should be through a specific clinical study process, and any decision made based on data, existing science, as well as taking into account the side effects on users.

“We must scrutinise the data coming out, including that of the clinical study by the ministry, which is expected to be completed by September. As such, we urge Malaysians to be confident in the Covid-19 vaccine that has indicated it can reduce the infection and death rate, as seen in the Labuan Federal Territory recently,” they said.

The MPs were echoing the sentiments of Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang and Malaysian Medical Association president Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy, who urged the public to not engage in the illegal sale and purchase of Ivermectin under the misguided belief that it can effectively treat Covid-19.

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