Unless authorities free themselves from rules designed to favor big multinational pharmaceutical firms, there will be little or no opportunity for alternative medicines to be explored and contribute to ending the pandemic even at this critical juncture when rich countries are hoarding vaccines while the infection rate is geometrically progressing.
American pulmonary and critical specialist Pierre Kory who has championed the use of low-cost drug Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of the global threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) said cautiousness has become needlessly excessive.
“They are willfully ignoring the amount of evidence. The main objection is coming from ethnocentric sources, mainly Europeans and the United States. All the trials are coming from these little countries that don’t usually do high-level pharma research, from oftentimes modest hospitals or universities that you don’t normally hear publish on new medicines and so they don’t trust the data,” he said.
Decision makers kept on asking him about “a proper trial,” which means a huge amount of resources and capital.
“The medical system right now is built around a requirement that you have 2,000 to 3,000 patient trials which is the capability of major pharmaceutical companies and major academic or medical centers with big government grants. We don’t have that, but I am arguing that we have an alternative that is actually superior,” according to Kory.
The expert cited 27 trials on Ivermectin which are randomized but with repeated signals of its effectivity.
“There’s no pharmaceutical lobby for Ivermectin, which is a cheap and widely available drug,” noted the physician.
Kory noted the long list of failed therapeutics against Covid-19 that has led people to be cautious about any new “Covid cures.”
Kory made his comments even as doctors in South Africa apply pressure on their government to recognize Ivermectin.
“Skepticism is ingrained in the medical profession, so we have to be very careful when adopting therapies or we lose credibility. But the cautiousness I think is now excessive with Ivermectin, and I think it is being driven by a few things,” he said.
“In the pandemic, many therapies have been adopted. For instance, hydroxychloroquine was adopted without any clinical trial evidence, and then once it was studied, it was shown really not to work,” Kory noted.
In October last year the World Health Organization (WHO) said the largest randomized control trial on Covid-19 therapeutics found conclusive evidence showing that repurposed drugs, including Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine, were ineffective for hospitalized patients.
“Even Remdesivir, which is essentially an ineffective drug, has been used widely in the United States at $3,000 a dose. The monoclonal antibodies simply do not work, and convalescent plasma fails biological plausibility to be effective,” Kory said.
South African Medical Association chair Dr. Angelique Coetzee viewed the skepticism toward Ivermectin was due to a lack of concrete evidence of its effectiveness against Covid-19, but regardless, many people have decided to use the drug off-label.
“There is no first world country that has approved this drug for Covid-19, WHO has not given the green light on it, and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority does not have it registered for human consumption,” Coetzee added.
A similar situation is being experience in the country with the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration blocking the use of the cheap drug despite the wide acceptance it has generated even among competent medical groups.
In general, all forms of possible alternative and economical cure against the plague are being sidetracked instead of reviewed, which favors the interest of multinational giants.
The dire situation, when deaths and infections are going through the roof, calls for people to rise from the ordinary and contribute to the immediate end of the global scourge.