A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin in Cali, Colombia. Picture: Luis Robayo/AFP
A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin in Cali, Colombia. Picture: Luis Robayo/AFP

Afriforum may take battle over Ivermectin to court

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Jan 16, 2021

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Pretoria - While medical experts say the science behind the use of Ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19 is inadequate at this stage, civil rights organisation Afriforum has instructed its legal team to look into possible legal action after the medication usually used to treat animals was banned for human use.

Afriforum is considering this option after the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority banned the medication of which 3.7 billion dosages had already been distributed.

Although Ivermectin has been available for human use in several countries for a while, in South Africa it is used only for livestock.

Afriforum insists that investigations regarding studies that have already been conducted globally on the use of Ivermectin be carried out as soon as possible to confirm if this drug can be used effectively in the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus.

“A large range of studies in various countries show that Ivermectin can possibly be effective in the treatment of the virus,” Barend Uys, Afriforum’s head of research said.

According to him, it was irrational to approve the use of a vaccine that had been developed within months while at the same time banning the use of a drug that had been proven safe and been in use for four decades.

“Farmers have been using Ivermectin as a livestock product for many years and it is immediately available in their medicine cabinets,” said Uys.

“The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) has a direct interest in protecting agricultural families and their workers and the request to approve procedures, dosages and regulations for human consumption of Ivermectin is at the same time fair and urgent, Dr Theo De Jager, Saai’s chairperson of the board of directors said.

In an interview with IOL this week, Professor Sakim Abdool Karim warned against the administering of Ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, as the current evidence is seriously inadequate for it to be prescribed.

Pretoria East resident Etienne de Beer, meanwhile, said he has placed his order for Ivermectin.

“I have nothing to lose. People say it’s working and I am going to take the chance. I will keep it in, in case I contract Covid-19.”

Pretoria News

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