The Health Products Regulatory Authority says a police investigation will be done to determine if a syndicate is operating in the country selling the drug Ivermectin for use against the coronavirus.
This comes as the country battles a second wave of infections fueled by a new variant of the virus. Ivermectin is used in South Africa primarily as a treatment for animals suffering parasitic diseases.
A man, believed to be a Pakistan national has been arrested at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban for being in possession of over two thousand Ivermectin tablets and was scheduled to appear in court.
Yuven Gounden of the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority says they have established that the drugs came from Pakistan.
Mr Gounden says that they will await a police investigation to understand whether there is a syndicate to sell these drugs in the country or what exactly was happening how did he get these drugs into this country cause what they have so far is that these drugs were in fact coming from Pakistan.
Afrivet cautions against Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment
Afrivet has cautioned the public against turning to medication that hasn’t yet been approved for human use in efforts to combat the coronavirus.
This after the National Freedom Party served Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPA) with a legal letter, threatening court action should they approve the use and manufacture of the Ivermectin drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
Afrivet CEO Dr Peter Oberem says while Ivermectin is a parasiticide that could assist in combating viruses in animals, no dosage has yet been approved for human use.
“These are not registered for humans. These formulations differ depending on the animal you are going to use it on. Those things have not been done locally in trials and have not been submitted to SAHPRA for their approval and registration of a product for usage on humans. There are no Ivermectin containing products registered for the use in humans. Desperate people are now turning to animal medicine, that is what we say is not the right thing to do, says Oberem.
Specialist at the Lenmed Shifaa Hospital Dr Farida Amod says while the vaccine is being procured, Ivermectin can help to reduce the number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 related deaths.
Dr Amod says it has been successfully rolled out in overseas countries to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Two weeks ago, SAHPRA had banned Ivermectin, saying there was no clinical evidence to support claims that it’s a miracle cure for COVID-19.
It further warned that its use could lead to harmful effects and even death.
SAHPRA is reviewing new data it has received regarding the use of Ivermectin: