Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 3) — The planned clinical trial of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin for treatment of mild COVID-19 may be completed by early 2022, a government official said Monday.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, chief of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), said that while the clinical trial itself may be concluded before the end of the year, the research team still needs to examine all the information collected during the study.
“Pag-aaralan pa ang mga datos. Ito ay malamang lalabas sa first quarter of next year, mga January,” he said in a virtual briefing.
[Translation: The data have to be studied further. The result may be released by the first quarter of next year, around January.]
Dr. Montoya, however, noted that this may be shortened if recruiting patients would be cut to four or five months, from the initial target of six months.
Earlier, he said over 1,200 mild to moderate COVID-19 patients who are undergoing isolation in quarantine facilities may participate in the trial.
The official said the DOST is eyeing to recruit patients from quarantine facilities of the Philippine Red Cross.
Dr. Montoya previously said a clinical trial, which was personally ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, is necessary since there is still no sufficient proof that ivermectin is effective in treating patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
Experts, including those from the World Health Organization, have repeatedly emphasized there is not enough proof ivermectin can be used to treat or prevent COVID-19. They also warned high doses could cause brain damage in humans, or even death.