The Quezon City Health Department today asked the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release a clear stand on the safety and general use of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin.

City Health Department Officer-in-Charge Dr. Esperanza Arias said a firm stand by the national regulatory agencies will help set the record straight regarding the legality and efficacy of the drug, including its distribution to the general public.

This, following reports of the distribution of Ivermectin to residents of Old Balara wherein each beneficiary supposedly received a minimum of three capsules or tablets.

“We were not given a go signal by the FDA to use Ivermectin as a prophylaxis or cure against COVID-19 since it’s still pending further studies. Hence, we cannot use it nor endorse it,” said Arias.

“But on the other hand, we cannot also stop its distribution since use of it against COVID has not been declared illegal as well,” she added.

The CHD advised citizens to remain vigilant as the drug has not yet been proven to be effective against the virus and allegedly causes side effects.

“The city government continues to stand by the science-backed recommendation that vaccination is still the safe and effective way of protecting people against COVID-19, together with the strict adherence to minimum health standards,” said Arias.

Arias expressed hope that proponents Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor and House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta would accept accountability for any adverse effects their distribution activity may cause the general population in the future.

In ANC’s Headstart this morning, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was quoted as saying that he is not sure whether the two exemptions cited by FDA Director General Eric Domingo have sound legal bases.