| Ivermectin |
Ivermectin is a medication used to treat many types of parasite infestations. Invented in 1975 it is on the WHO's List of Essential Medicines and is an FDA-approved anti-parasitic agent. In 2020 it was reported to be helpful dealing with COVID-19. On 27 August the NIH recommended against its use ivermectin for COVID-19. A meta-analysis funded by the WHO showed an 83% reduction in mortality in hospitalized patients treated by ivermectin. A presentation of the work by Andrew Hill was given at "Ivermectin Against COVID-19 Collaborative Workshop", December 15-17, 2020, sponsored by MedinCell, S.A. It was banned in South Africa in December 2020.
Nobel Prize in Medicine
The discovery of the avermectin family of compounds, from which ivermectin is chemically derived, was made by Satoshi Ōmura of Kitasato University, Tokyo and William C. Campbell of the Merck Institute for Therapeutic research. Ivermectin was introduced in 1981. Half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Campbell and Ōmura for discovering avermectin, "the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, as well as showing efficacy against an expanding number of other parasitic diseases"
Dr Andrew Hill of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool (UK) was engaged in a WHO-commissioned review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of ivermectin against Covid-19. He reported initial findings in December 2020 that the drug yielded an 83% reduction in Covid-19 mortality.
Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance declares ivermectin a “miracle drug”
In November 2020 Dr Pierre Kory, speaking on behalf of his non-profit organization, the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, "made up of some of the most highly published and well-known critical care experts in the world", called for the US government to swiftly review the medical evidence on ivermectin. To a US Homeland Security Committee, he declared:
"It is with great pride as well as significant optimism, that I am here to report that our group, led by Professor Paul E. Marik, has developed a highly effective protocol for preventing and early treatment of COVID-19. In the last 3-4 months, emerging publications provide conclusive data on the profound efficacy of [...] ivermectin in all stages of the disease. Our protocol was created only recently, after we identified these data. Nearly all studies are demonstrating the therapeutic potency and safety of ivermectin in preventing transmission and progression of illness in nearly all who take the drug...."These data show that ivermectin is effectively a “miracle drug” against COVID-19.
"we also are dismayed at the near complete absence of guidance and research on effective early, at-home, or preventative treatment options apart from vaccines, a reality we find unconscionable"...
Democrats boycotted the hearing except for an opening statement by ranking member Senator Gary Peters, who left after opining that the hearing “was used as a platform to attack science and promote discredited treatments”.
Kory, a pulmonary and critical care specialist, expressed outrage at Peters’ disparaging comments. He said, “I want to register my offense at the ranking member’s opening statement... I am a physician and a man of science. I have done nothing, nothing but commit myself to scientific truth and the care of patients.”
“I want to bring attention to two critical deficits in our national treatment response that has made this hearing necessary in the first place. Besides the early interest and research into hydroxychloroquine, we can find no other significant efforts to research the use of any other already existing, safe, low-cost therapeutic agents. Seemingly the only research and treatment focus that we have observed on a national scale is with novel or high-cost pharmaceutically engineered products”
Dr. Pierre Kory (December 2020) 
South African Ban
In December 2020 the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) banned the importation of ivermectin into the country. Dr. Boitumelo Semete-Makokotela, SAHPRA’s chief executive, declared, “Our stance is unambiguous. This drug is not approved by SAPHRA, and any attempt to import it into the country will be dealt with by SAHPRA’s regulatory compliance unit in conjunction with law enforcement agencies such as SAPS and the SIU.” He also pointed at a whistleblower contact to the public should anybody be aware of such activity.
Given the drug’s pervasive use throughout the African continent to fight parasitic infection, the ban comes at an interesting time, where mounting data points to the possible benefits of the drug and mass vaccinations are being hurried through.
- "COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines" (Clinical guideline). National Institutes of Health. 27 August 2020.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").