A group of about 50 doctors and medical practitioners have launched an urgent application to have the Ivermectin drug made more accessible to combat COVID-19. 

The medics named “I can make a difference doctors and medical practitioners group” have taken legal action against the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and the Health Minister. 

Arguments on the matter will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday. 

In its court papers, the group says many of its members want to use Ivermectin themselves as a prophylactic and obtain it from a reputable and recognised supplier. 

According to SAHPRAIvermectin is an unregistered product. 

But doctors can apply to access it for human use if they submit a Section 21 application. 

Earlier, the North Gauteng High Court issued an order by agreement with SAHPRA, to enable doctors to start Ivermectin treatment. 

This will allow doctors to start treatment concurrently with the submission of an article 21 application. 

AfriForum, which is one of the parties, said this was a ground-breaking ruling, as doctors would not have to wait for approval of the application before starting treatment. 

Main arguments in the latest application are expected to answer the question on whether SAHPRA has the right to stop doctors and pharmacists from using this drug without first approaching the regulatory authority for permission or not.   

Ivermectin is a widely used drug for the treatment and control of parasites in animals and is used to treat several tropical diseases in humans not commonly seen in South Africa, as well as scabies and head lice.