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Defensor owns up on Ivermectin pantry

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Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor on Saturday appealed to the Department of Health (DoH) to reconsider its call to probe doctors who allegedly issued “invalid” prescriptions for Ivermectin in Quezon City.

Defensor asked DoH to “spare” the doctors who only wanted to provide poor people access to the experimental Covid-19 drug.

The DoH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday they will “officially endorse” the reports and complaints against the doctors to the Professional Regulatory Commission.
They were referring to the so-called Ivermectin community pantry held on 29 April.

Defensor, House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and four doctors affiliated with the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines held the event where about 200 people received 2,000 Ivermectin capsules in Barangay Matandang Balara, Quezon City.

There, they received prescriptions and were required to fill out waivers, removing the legal liability of the organizers of the event.

“It is seldom that I ask for help and support for my advocacies and beliefs. As a public official, I have accepted the fact that I am ‘fair game’ and people may attack me and I just have to roll with the punches and hope that my arguments will come to light,” Defensor wrote in a social media post.

“But our doctors do not deserve this. They have put their names and practice on the line for the love of our people and nation. They didn’t have to do that. They could have remained quiet and towed the line,” the lawmaker added.

He said the doctors acted knowing that not doing so “will lead to the death of our people.” Defensor said it is him and Marcoleta who should be held responsible for the project, not the doctors.
He alleged the DoH and FDA are only promoting drugs that are accessible to the rich.

“Remdesivir, for instance, costs from P12,000 to P48,000 per vial, and you need two vials a day. On the other hand, Ivermectin costs only P35 per tablet, and only one tablet is needed daily,” he said.

“The DoH and FDA are allowing the use of Remdesivir, while cracking down on Ivermectin. Their bias is for the rich and against the poor,” Defensor claimed.

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