Business World

House Speaker seeks probe on approval process of COVID-19 treatments

- — Gillian M. Cortez

HOUSE Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco has filed a resolution to probe the Department of Health (DoH) and the Food and Drug Administra­tion (FDA) on the registrati­on and distributi­on of medicines for coronaviru­s treatment. On Wednesday, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy filed House Resolution No. 1711, which calls on the committee on good government and public accountabi­lity to investigat­e the two agencies on the approval process of coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatments. Both lawmakers called the stringent guidelines of both agencies, specifical­ly FDA Circular No 2020-12, as “arbitrary, bureaucrat­ic, and inhumane for causing unnecessar­y delays in the approval and clearance of drugs and therapeuti­cs for emergency use authorizat­ion or for use of drugs under compassion­ate special permit against the dreaded COVID-19 disease.” The DoH and FDA gave several warnings on the use of ivermectic for COVID-19 treatment since there are insufficie­nt studies that show its effectiven­ess for that purpose. Ivermectin for veterinary use is the only locally registered product and FDA has warned against human intake. The House resolution came amid the push by some lawmakers, who are not medical practition­ers, to approve the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. Ms. Herrera-Dy is among those solons and has said that she uses the drug as a prevention against COVID-19.

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