The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has denied that they buckled under pressure from AfriForum. Picture: Alex Green/Pexels
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has denied that they buckled under pressure from AfriForum. Picture: Alex Green/Pexels

Sahpra denies ’buckling under pressure’ from AfriForum over access to ivermectin

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Feb 3, 2021

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DURBAN: The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has denied rumours that it "buckled under pressure" due to court action brought against it by AfriForum regarding the administration of ivermectin.

"Sahpra wishes to state unequivocally that this is not the case," the body said in a statement earlier today.

Sahpra said deliberations this week culminated in an order that reiterated the position that they had communicated last month.

"In other words, Sahpra’s programme of controlled compassionate use of ivermectin remains firmly in place," it said.

On January 27, the authority held a press briefing outlining how it would ensure that there was controlled compassionate use of ivermectin.

Sahpra chief executive Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makhkotlela said the body had noted the limited treatment options for the Covid-19 pandemic and was concerned about the escalation of positive cases of Covid-19 and deaths.

She said Sahpra's focus was on the health and well-being of the South African public.

"Sahpra had several meetings and consultations with the scientific and medical community to explore the options for controlled, monitored access to reliable quality ivermectin-containing products for human use with simple but essential reporting requirements.

’’The culmination of the many engagements was the decision to implement the programme. This move was announced at the media briefing. Sahpra's timing and the action brought on by AfriForum is a mere coincidence," she said.

AfriForum was yesterday granted a court order, which will enable doctors to start ivermectin treatment concurrently with the submission of an article 21 application, in cases where the doctor deems urgent access to ivermectin as crucial for a patient.

Head of research at AfriForum Barend Uys said the quick access to the medical treatment was a breakthrough for health-care freedom.

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