Covid-19: Results of I-Tech Ivermectin study to be tabled soon

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The results of the Ivermectin Treatment Effectiveness test on high-risk Covid-19 patients (I-Tech Study) are expected to be presented to Health Ministry stakeholders by the end of this week, the Dewan Negara was told on Tuesday (Oct 26).

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the I-Tech Study, which recruited 500 patients, was now in the final stage of the study analysis.

"Thus far, the evidence to support the use of Ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19 infection is very limited. On July 28, the Cochrane Library issued a statement not supporting the use of Ivermectin to prevent or treat Covid-19 based on a systemic analysis of 14 clinical studies involving 1,678 participants," he said.

"The Cochrane Library summarised the need for better quality research data to be published for analysis,” added Dr Noor Azmi during a question-and-answer session. The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

He was answering a question from Senator Datuk Bashir Alias who wanted to know the status of the Health Ministry's I-Tech Study and scientific evidence at the international level as well as measures taken to overcome the problem of Ivermectin use at present.

Apart from that, Dr Noor Azmi said there had also been large-scale clinical studies recently involving Covid-19 patients who were not hospitalised and had mild symptoms, such as the testing of Ivermectin to prevent hospitalisations of patients with Covid-19 (IVERCORCOVID19) in Argentina and a joint trial in Brazil which found Ivermectin to be ineffective in preventing hospitalisation.

On steps taken to overcome the use of Ivermectin, he said the Ministry's Pharmacy Enforcement Division was always monitoring and ensuring that health products and medicines that were marketed were registered with the Drug Control Authority before being sold to the public.

According to him, the Pharmacy Enforcement Division received 175 complaints on Ivermectin throughout last year until September 2021.

"Based on verification carried out, a total of 17 premises were raided in 2020 with a total seizure of RM7,193. This year, 43 premises were raided and 17 inspections were carried out, with total seizures amounting to RM124,815,” he said.

He also said that from last year until now, educational efforts were also carried out through the uploading of 128 posters and information on Facebook or social media as well as 10 posters that were specifically related to Covid-19.

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