KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced that the results of a Malaysian study on the efficacy of Ivermectin for high-risk Covid-19 patients will be made known next week.
Commenting in a Twitter post, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) director Dr Kalaiarasu M. Peariasamy will walk the public through the results of the study next week.
“The great debate locally on #Ivermectin will be settled soon. We did a local study on Ivermectin and the results are in.
“@drkalai61 will be presenting this publicly next week,” he said.
On June 5, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that MoH and ICR had commenced clinical trials to study the use and efficacy of Ivermectin for high-risk Covid-19 patients at 12 MoH hospitals.
He said the trial was approved by the ministry’s Medical Research and Ethics Committee on May 25, and the study would compare Ivermectin treatment (specific dose with specific duration) with the standard of care alone.
He said the study would enlist 500 subjects from high-risk groups aged 50 and above admitted to MoH hospitals with mild or moderate Covid-19 symptoms (stage two to three).
“The study aims to determine the efficacy of Ivermectin in preventing the progression of Covid-19 to severe disease (stage four and five) and in terms of mortality outcomes.
“ICR has set up a Data Monitoring Board (DMB) consisting of independent ID physicians, clinical trial pharmacists and methodological experts to safeguard the trial patients on the safety and efficacy of the investigation product set by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA),” he was quoted as saying in a statement on June 5.
Ivermectin is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antiparasitic drug widely used for treating several neglected tropical diseases, including onchocerciasis, strongyloidiasis and helminthiases.
However, the evidence is inconclusive as to its use for Covid-19 patients.
“The ‘off-label’ use of Ivermectin gained global attention due to some promising results by case studies and clinical trials.
“The FDA has not approved Ivermectin for use in treating or preventing Covid-19 in humans, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) only recommends the use of Ivermectin in a clinical trial setting, in which patients are monitored closely by experienced clinicians and researchers for safety and efficacy,” said Dr Noor Hisham in the same statement.