Ivermectin settlement: 'Sanctity of human life' top of mind, says ACDP

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  • The ACDP has welcomed a settlement agreement between the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra), AfriForum and other parties lobbying for the use of ivermectin.
  • The party believes South Africans infected with Covid-19 will benefit from greater access to ivermectin.
  • The settlement agreement allows registered pharmacists and doctors to prescribe ivermectin for Covid-19.

The ACDP has said the limitless use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 is a victory for doctors.

According to the party, South Africans infected with Covid-19 will also benefit as a settlement agreement between doctors and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) allows greater access to ivermectin.

Sahpra and various parties who fought for ivermectin's use reached a settlement agreement for the compounding of, and access to, the drug.

READ | Sahpra has received fewer than 200 applications for its ivermectin compassionate-use programme 

On Tuesday, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that a registered pharmacist or medical practitioner could compound and sell compounded medicine that contained ivermectin as an active ingredient.

In a statement, ACDP MP Steve Swart said the party believed "in the sanctity of human life and the well-being of the nation".

"This High Court application was part of our pursuit of feasible avenues which could be effective in saving human lives and alleviating human suffering during the prevailing pandemic. This agreement should also end the questionable use of the veterinary ivermectin product to treat humans, as well as reducing the black market demand for the medicine," Swart said.

In January this year, Sahpra adopted the "ivermectin controlled compassionate use programme guideline" under Section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, which allowed for the use of ivermectin until more data was available on the drug as a treatment for Covid-19 symptoms.

READ ALSO | Confusion over ivermectin, but regulator maintains it's not approved for Covid-19 treatment

Section 21 of the act allows Sahpra to authorise the sale of an unregistered medicine for a certain purpose, for a specified period.

Swart said the dispute was the adequacy of evidence and not ivermectin's efficacy in treating Covid-19.

"The ACDP and other litigating parties in cases against Sahpra and the Minister of Health have always correctly maintained, and Sahpra agreed, that there is no evidence to gainsay the safety of using an ivermectin human use medicine (compounded or known tablet brand) in human beings. In fact, its safety is generally uncontroversial, and ivermectin medicine has been used without prescription as a prophylactic for decades," he said.

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