Alternative view: Give Ivermectin the benefit of doubt as COVID-19 cure

WITH prospect of a total lockdown becoming imminent with the daily COVID-19 infection rate nearing the 7,000 mark, a group of prominent individuals – comprising medical practitioners and consumer advocates – have expressed disagreement with Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah that there is no conclusive evidence for the use of Ivermectin against COVID-19.

Urging the Health Ministry to look at the current scientific information pertaining to Ivermectin, the group noted that many randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on Ivermectin and COVID-19 only got published in February and March 2021.

“The BMJ (British Medical Journal) article ‘Drug Treatments for COVID-19: Living Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis’ that was mentioned in the Health DG’s statement was published in July 2020 with updated data as of April 6 as claimed,” explained the group of prominent individuals.

“However, there is no mention of Ivermectin trial results in the report for mortality, adverse events leading to discontinuation, duration of hospital stay, ventilator-free days, and time to symptom resolution. Clearly there is selection bias in this BMJ report.”

The 10-member group consisted of Captain (Rtd) Dr Wong Ang Peng (research scientist); Prof Dr Mustafa Ali Mohd (senior pharmacologist & toxicologist); Dr Saifuzzaman Yusoff (medical doctor); Dr Zawawi Abdullah (medical doctor), and Dr Durairajoo Govindarajoo (medical doctor).

Other members of the group are Datuk Nadzim Johan (chairman of the Coalition on Integrity of Vaccines & Drugs against COVID-19 [CIVDAC]); Brigadier-General (Rtd) Datuk Mohd Arshad Raji (National Patriots Association president); Dr Abd Kadir Warsi Mohamad (Malaysian Muslim Consumers’ Association); Police Commissioner (Rtd) Datuk Shabudin Abdul Wahab (COVID Research Centre [AHM Group]), and Tunku Azwil Tunku Abd Razak (Muslim NGO Alliance).

The group further reiterated that it bore no malice in being critical of the Health DG’s statements but is “saddened to see the pandemic has claimed many lives, caused so much of hardship, and used up so much of human and financial resources.”

“We genuinely believe, and are confident that if Ivermectin is mass-distributed, the epidemic in our country will be quickly brought under control,” it said, noting that many recent credible studies around the world have confirmed that Ivermectin can reduce the risk of infection against COVID-19 by 88% and mortality rate by 83%.

To prove the validity of its points, the group of prominent people also provided a list of RCTs which are considered gold standard in evidence-based medicine, peer-reviewed and reproducible, using only Ivermectin with no add-on.

Although most of the RCTs conducted on Ivermectin were of small and medium scale studies, the group contended that this is not an issue if the trials were well designed and properly conducted, and the results show statistical significance.

“Individual doctors who have no ulterior motive or vested interest other than altruistic intent, funded most of the studies,” asserted the group. “The above points answer the Health DG’s criticism towards the Ivermectin studies.” – May 20, 2021


Photo credit: Shutterstock

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