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20K ‘smuggled’ Ivermectin capsules, other drugs seized at NAIA

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Some 20,000 Ivermectin capsules were seized on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The shipment, according to the Bureau of Customs, was imported by Finstad Inc, from New Delhi, India, and was declared as “food supplements, multivitamins, and multi-mineral capsules.

“The drugs, including the undeclared 20,000 capsules of Ivermectin, were reportedly concealed in the inner portion of the subject shipment from New Delhi, India and covered by other declared regulated items after the subjection of the shipment to a physical examination by BOC NAIA,”  the BOC report said.

The use of Ivermectin, particularly to cure coronavirus disease, has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Director Jesusa Joyce Cirunay of the FDS’ Center for Drug Regulation and Research, however, said the agency has authorized compassionate use of the drug in specialized institutions through the issuance of a Compassionate Special permit (CSP).

“In case Ivermectin has been granted authorization, a valid License to Operate (LTO) as Drug Importer and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) shall be presented,” Cirunay said.

Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero meanwhile said the Port of NAIA remains committed to expedite the processing and release of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs, and other medical supplies while being vigilant in securing borders to curb smuggling of unregistered, undeclared goods.

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